Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Beasts Around Us

The trip to Vermont allowed a chance to visit new places, spend some time with friends and lay around enjoying Lake Dunmore.  This was Limo's first trip and although he has been to the beach in Florida he has not really floated around in a raft or on a boat like we did here.

It took me, practically dragging Limo on board the Zodiak for us to get a chance to go out on the lake.  It was a short run.  I am not sure that he is the water dog that his hosts are.  As soon as we got near land he made a mad dash for the dock.  Here he stayed most of the time when we came down to the lake.

One day I jumped into the lake and swam out to the anchored float From the swimming float I looked back towards the shore.  Here there were three or four docks in view.  What was surprising was that as beautiful a day as it was there was not another person around.  I felt strangely privileged to have all this  beautiful landscape and natural beauty and I was the only one around.  

Taking another look at the shore a  strange thought came to me.  I wondered who really owned all this wonderment.  The people may have paid for it or inherited but in fact it appeared as though the dogs were the owners of all the properties.  Laying down and swimming when they chose they were as much the owners as anyone. Certainly Lily and Sam were the masters of their kingdom. 

I managed to pose for an automatic picture with Limo in a rare moment of rest.  It came out surprisingly well, as you no doubt know dealing with a timer can be tricky no less balancing the camera on a towel due to forgetting my tripod.

The truth is that animals are always around us and we are often too busy with our own lives to take notice.  The problem is that unless they are our pets many tend to see them with certain apprehension or unfounded trust.  Both are problematic and allow little appreciation of the wildness around us.  These bard owls around the cabin hoot and hollered and I was certain that it was kids or even coyotes making all the racket.

These animal pictures have been sent to me over the year by a man that has really taken a cause for the animals around and in the lake.  Forever in the loop on sightings,  Mike Korkuc is really a great steward.   Above a whole skulk of Foxes in one of the neighboring cottages. 

Whether his or one of his neighbors, Mike takes pictures and sends them to a large group of people that he has slowly befriended in their travels to the lake.  Mike is a year-round resident at Lake Dunmore and he is the eyes and the ears for those that are not.  This picture arrived at some point of a black bear who needed a fix of bird seeds!  Mike writes for a weekly report on happenings up at Lake Dunmore and  Fern Lake  Association Blog  :  Check it out.

Mike is forever taking people out on his pontoon boat to see the loons.  His boat is actually called the "Loonatic".  I have been on it a few times and this year Mike took me and a visiting family from NY City to check out his favorite birds.

Taken earlier in the season by Mike, this loon parent has his sleeping baby chick on its back.  It does not get more tender.  What is also astonishing is that the loons who are a bit touchy about letting anyone around them have accepted the Loonatic as part of their family.  They must recognize Mike as he visits them daily.  No one else I know has gotten this close to them to take the quality pictures in his collection.

While I was visiting the lake the chick were almost to the adult level even though their plumes were not the crisp black and white featured on the adults.  Nevertheless, this image of the Loon family is another of the wonders of Lake Dunmore. My trip here had given a new appreciation as to how much wildlife existed all around me and how natural it felt to be in such a space.

As luck would have it I spent my last night at the lake with a Blue Moon.  The evening sky was like a painting.  As a young man, I felt something in me stirring during full moons.  Needless to say I probably felt something stirring in me all the time I was a young man. This night however was truly magical.  I no longer had the animal stirrings of a young man but I still did feel like some kind of reaction that was accentuated by the place and the magnificent moon. As the old man said to his excited dogs in Moonstruck:  Ah Guarda la bella luna!

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