the eric update – day 352: mauja and odin’s first day at camp!

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! I.

yesterday we went on an ocean adventure, so today we thought it would be nice to visit our family camp in whiting, maine on what’s known as “indian lake”. ( for the two people that might be interested, the first white settler of whiting, general john crane, was involved in the boston tea party, the french and indian war and the american revolutionary war. and it still has a two room schoolhouse! but i digress. )

not more than a minute or two after we arrived we walked down onto the wharf with grandma rier to look across the lake and were all suprised to hear a splash not more than 10 feet away near the rock wall at the water’s edge.

at first we all thought it was a fish jumping in extremely shallow water, but then about ten or so feet from the sound of the splash we were shocked to see a loon come up from a dive under water. ( parenthetically, when it came up from the dive, we saw that it seemed to have an impossibly large 5 or 6 foot wingspan, which we all thought was far larger than normal. it’s funny that after a lifetime of observing loons none of us had ever seen one so close to know that it’s actually an average wingspan. )

of course, mauja jumped in the water and for the second time in as many days, tried his best to get himself a bird dinner.

by the time i ran back with the camera, the loon had lured mauja into relatively deep water and was being much more devious than yesterday’s gull by letting him get relatively close, not flying away, and making loon calls that undoubtably could be translated into “i bet i know which of us will drown first!”

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! II.

unlike yesterday, mauja didn’t quickly turn around and within minutes he was so far out in the lake that we began to fear that he might not make it back to shore!

finally he decided to heed our calls and started to head back. but he’s old and we had a brief conversation about whether or not it was possible to pull a fully water laden 120 pound malamute into a canoe.

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! III.

the loon dared to come back relatively close to shore which made us think that perhaps we had unintentionally disturbed a nesting mother ( ironic considering this comment about yesterday’s photos and the downside of letting dogs run on beaches in the spring ).

we didn’t see any obvious nests in the rock wall and nobody can remember a loon nesting the cove in the entire 50 or so year history of the camp, but the loon’s behavior would certainly seem to indicate otherwise.

unfortunately for mauja, until we conclusively rule out a nest, mauja will definately need to back on a leash.

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! IV.

the family camp has always had a relatively large and vocal loon population, which makes for hauntingly beautiful nights on the lake.

if you’ve ever heard a chorus of loons you’ll know what i mean.

you can click on each image for a brief description.

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! V.

grandpa kirk in happy to see mauja make it to shore.

grandma rier has lived in saint lucia for quite a few years which is where she met and married kirk.

he’s a very nice, soft-spoken man and, as you may have guessed, odin loves to play with his dreads.

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! VI.

grandma rier and odin share a quiet moment.

eventually grandma may figure out that i can take a photo with the telephoto lens when you don’t even know it :-)

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! VII.

after harrasing a local loon, mauja still had enough energy to run around and sleuth out a muddy mess in a nearby bit of wetland.

obviously according to the dog’s handbook of life, he’s having probably his most funnest day in a long, long time.

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! VIII.

odin enjoys sitting on what might look like an ordinary red couch in the family camp.

little does he know that this very couch has not apparently aged at all over the past 30 or so years; regular readers might even recognize the couch as the very same one that auntie m and i shared for a special moment more than a few years ago.

day 352: mauja and odin's first day at camp! IX.

this photo is far more interesting when you realize that the long time family friend on the motorcycle who is talking with grandma rier and odin is david watts whose surname almost assuredly means that he’s a direct descendent of samual watts who we very recently learned is also a member of odin’s family tree and whom played a part in the first naval skirmish with the british during the american revolutionary war.

if it’s not apparent, david is quite a character, in the very best sense of the word.

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