July 28, 2013

Camping trip equals relief in the Adirondacks

I can’t think of any place I’d rather be at 8 a.m. on a July morning than on an Adirondack lake. 

Toss in a few fishing rods, a thermos of coffee and seemingly endless calling of loons and you have the makings of summertime heaven.

That’s where my wife, Adrienne, and I found ourselves last weekend. Owners of a small camping trailer, we’re monthly visitors to DEC campgrounds in the Adirondacks. Although we camped for an entire week earlier this summer, we usually just take long weekends. And we needed this one, bad.

Fed up with the endless summer heat, we didn’t mind the heavy rain that began just after we finished setting up our campsite on Nick’s Lake near Old Forge. We knew relief from the heat was coming with it.

Saturday morning found us at nearby Limekiln Lake campground launching our kayaks to participate in the annual Adirondack loon census. Adrienne was to scout the bay around the campground while I headed for the middle of the lake and then down into a bay in the southwest corner where there were a few islands. We’d been told by two good sources that there were a pair of adult loons with two chicks on the lake and we wanted a peak at them for the census.

Upon launching we could already see a group of loons right in the middle of the lake. I paddled out to them and eventually counted six adults. While observing them I heard another loon calling down by the islands. I immediately headed in that direction hoping to find the loon family.

As I entered the small bay I quickly spotted an adult loon diving, then I noticed a second adult. I kept my distance and scoured the area for the chicks. When one of the adults headed intently for the corner of the bay I figured she was heading toward her young. Sure enough, she led me right to them. This pair of loon chicks looked too big to be riding on their mother’s back so they anxiously awaited her return. I shot my photos and moved on counting a total of 10 loons on Limekiln Lake for the census.

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