One Foggy September Morning


Over my Writer’s Camp ‘n Schmooze weekend, two of my friends, Cindy and Mona, went kayaking in the early morning hours to watch the sunrise.  They asked me to go too, but I was sooooo tired from juggling teaching, writing and camp, I decided to get the extra couple hours of sleep instead.

After seeing their photos and hearing about how they’d seen the fall loons . . . well, I’ve been regretting that decision ever since.

So when my friend Linda arrived for the weekend, I asked, “Want to see a sunrise tomorrow?”

Of course she said yes . . .

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But there was no sunrise.  The fog was thick.  It danced across the water toward us, around us.  It clung to everything . . .

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It made it hard to take photos of the ducks and geese, which have begun to gather for their trip south.

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We followed the sound of the loons mournful cry to find them.

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My how they’ve changed!

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Loons molt in September, changing from their brilliant black and white colors to a gray, not unlike a juveniles.  After they fly to their winter home, they’ll molt again, this time becoming flightless for a time until their new feathers grow in and they return north.

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We watched them for awhile . . . fishing and preening.  Then we continued  down toward the state park.

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Right on the park’s shoreline, we saw a duck-like bird we didn’t recognize.  Five of them.  Diving, coming back up with little minnows, chasing each other.

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It turns out it’s a common grebe!  I believe these are all females.  They were interesting to watch.  A new birding find!

*corrected, thanks to my friend Patty!  These are actually red-breasted mergansers, females.  See Patty’s and my comments below*

As we headed for home, the fog lifted and the sun came out.

It was going to be a glorious day . . .

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but we’d already seen the best part of it.



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4 Responses to One Foggy September Morning

  1. Mona says:

    OMGosh Tam,
    There’s nothing like a paddle before sunrise.
    With each season, there’s a different scene, a different nature lesson.
    Thanks for sharing these photos, and for giving me and Cindy the chance to capture a few of our own.

    • Tamra says:

      Even though I’m not a early bird riser, I try to get a couple sunrise kayaks each year. It’s always so calm and you have that feeling of being the only person up and about . . .

      So glad you were here for the Schmooze Mona! Hoping to gather again soon.

  2. Patience Mason says:

    I think that’s a red-breasted merganser female. The hook on the end of her beak and the reddish crest are merganser characteristics. We have them over on Lake Thompson. They are so funny to watch and so smart. The other ducks lose most of their babies but the mergansers are always rushing around in a flock, swimming fast and diving and looking like they are having fun.

    • Tamra says:

      Oh my goodness! You’re right of course. When on the lake with Linda, I had thought Grebe, got home and did the research and realized it was the merganser, even talked to my friend Linda about it on Sunday! But by Sunday night, I spaced-it and typed my original thought. Thanks for the correction Patty! I’m going to go change my post . . .

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