Reflections On Summer

At this time of the year, I find myself reflecting on the lovely summer that is now coming to an end.  Summer days seem to pass far too quickly. One day I was planting my vegetable garden,  then I was eating vine ripe tomatoes and now I find myself removing the plants and preparing the garden for winter. It seems just days before that we were spending our time enjoying the sun’s warmth out on the water with our friends and now the boat has been stored until next year. I woke up this morning from under the feather comforter we are now having to use and looked out at the lake. Steam rises off the warm water into the cold air and I know it is time to close the summer cottage.

Steam Rising Off The Lake

Looking back, this summer started out with a flooded lake but within weeks water levels were back to normal. If you read my post, The Cry of the Loon at the beginning of July, you know that I was very worried that the nesting loons might have lost their nests or eggs. But in August, I saw a loon in the distance and right next to her was a young chick. Thank goodness I have a telephoto lens for my camera.

Mother Loon And Chick

A week later, I got an up close experience that I thought I would share with you. The mother loon and her chick were swimming not too far off our dock. I grabbed my camera and ran outside hoping to get a good photo. To my surprise, the pair swam right towards me.

Mother Loon And Chick Closeup

Then what happened next was a once in a lifetime moment. The two birds swam up to our beach…first the mother.

Mother Loon On Our Beach

Then the chick came up on the beach to join its’ mother.

Mother Loon And Chick At Our Beach

Notice how far back their legs are located on their body. They don’t really walk but just kind of push themselves around on the land…actually more like flopping. It was very amusing when the chick discovered that its’ mother was back in the water.  It dove into the water, almost in a panic that it was being left behind.

The Loon Chick Dives Into The Lake In A Panic At Being Left Behind

Once back together, the chick swam in circles closely around its’ mother.

The Young Chick Swimming Circles Around The Mother Loon

Then the young loon seemed to celebrate being back with its’ mother.

A Victorious Young Loon

Throughout the rest of the summer, the mother and young loon have spent their days not far off our dock. I hear the haunting call of the mother loon as she swims through the early morning mist.  They will leave the lake before the winter cold freezes the lake but I’m hoping that next year they will be back.

I always have mixed emotions when it is time to close up the cottage. I don’t want to give up the beauty and restfulness of the lake but know I will be happy when I return home to New Hampshire. Fall is in the air, the apples and pears have ripened in the orchard and leaves are just beginning to turn. Soon the trees will be shades of crimson and gold.

A Lovely Way To End The Day

There have been wonderful moments provided by nature this summer. As the sun sets on the lake, I’m looking forward to the next season and adventures yet to come.

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149 thoughts on “Reflections On Summer

    1. Hi Teresa, It has been very enjoyable to watch “our” loons. Nice that they have stayed close by so I can watch the young one grow and learn. The sunset was so beautiful. Thank you for your comment.

  1. Fabulous post, Karen, and amazing pictures of the Loons. What an insane name for a bird when you think of this quote from Macbeth ” The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon!
    Where got’st thou that goose look? ”
    Sad summer’s over, but the pictures of the lake steaming and the evening sky are worth it.

    1. Thank you Roger, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. It is nice when you can capture the beauty that nature provides us with. It truly was a wonderful summer.

  2. Isn’t it amazing how things change so quickly from summer to fall? I see you’ve captured your loons once more with, as always, amazing camera work.

    1. Hi Linda, It seems like fall has come racing in this year. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of the loons. It was a lucky moment when they swam up on the beach instead of swimming further out into the lake. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Hi Dena, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I was hoping to get a couple of photos from the dock but never expected that they would come up on the beach. Maybe they knew that I wanted to make them a star out in the blogworld. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Karen., the photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your nature experience. I share your sentiments about summer slipping away., but I am looking forwrd to the change of seasons.

    1. Thank you Sheila, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. Summer passes so quickly but fall in New England is a glorious season that I will enjoy.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, For all their beautiful plumage, loons certainly are shaped different with their legs set so far back on their body. The fuzzy chick does remind you of a young penguin pushing off into the water.

  4. Oh, Karen, weren’t you just the luckiest to have seen the loons up close like that! Mother and baby no less.. I only have had the opportunity from a great distance. I love their haunting call and the movie On Golden Pond always comes to mind. I am looking forward to new photos of your crimson apples and your fall… xx

    1. Hi Barbara, I do consider myself extremely lucky to have not only seen the loons up close but to photography them as they came up on our beach. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. I too love their haunting call. It should not be too long before fall photos start making an appearance. Thank you for your nice comment.

  5. Karen, I just loved this post! I can really understand why it would be hard to leave and go home, although “home” sounds really lovely, too. What a beautiful treat to have the loons come so close and entertain you for a bit. Their anatomy is really unusual and it’s a rare moment, I’m sure, to see them scoot around on land. So where do they go from here? I couldn’t quite imagine where they would go to winter? And I’m so enthralled with sunsets. The sunset photo is absolutely stunning. I’ll be thinking of these images through the day, I suspect! D

    1. Thank you Debra, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It really would be hard to head home except for the fact that fall is so lovely in New Hampshire. I had read that loons had a awkward time maneuvering on land because of their unusual anatomy and they really do. I can see why their nests are right at the water’s edge. The particular sunset was outstanding…I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

    1. Hi Jessica, I’m glad that my post reminded you of when you were growing up. The dock looks so strange with the boat and jet ski gone. Just another sign that summer is coming to an end at our cottage. Thank you for your kind words.

  6. Yes.. beautiful photos. It’s interesting experiencing my own close of summer but now also sharing this time with others in the blogging world brings on a new dimension of bittersweet.
    I’m enjoying our transition here with the early morning chill that is still followed by sun. I know that too will pass and it will truly be time for the outdoors to take a nap. I appreciate the cycles.

    1. Thank you Wendy, for your nice compliment. You are a person who can really relate to this experience. I do enjoy living in an area where there are four distinct seasons…always something different to look forward to with each passing day.

  7. Karen, thanks for sharing your summer with us .. for sharing it with me and let me along. Your photos here says everything – the lake with the mist are stunning. The Loom and her chicks are – so beautiful. Were you close to them ???? The photo were they are close – is so good. The summer is gone here too – the chilled undertone of autumn has been in the air for a while and even if the days has been warm and sunny – I can feel that is’t then end now. Had tights on for the first time today and the rain was heavy at time. Thanks for a beautiful summer, Karen.

    1. Hi Viveka, I’m happy that you have enjoyed my posts and photos on summer in Maine. I was standing on my dock with my camera when the loons swam onto the beach. I was probably about 15 feet away from them…it was a great moment. I’ve gone from shorts and tees to jeans and sweats. Sweaters will be coming out soon. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

      1. Karen, your photos are – stunning … beautiful. Today I can really feel the autumn. Autumn in Portland & New England must be breathtaken. Can’t wait for your photos – with all those trees on fire.

      2. Peak color for our area is usually around the 10th of October. It all depends on the amount of rainfall and temperatures…hopefully it will be a good year for color.

  8. You don’t just change seasons, you change locations as well! How wonderful to have a summer cottage, every season has its beauty and majic and to have capture it both in pics and memories are what life is all about!

    1. Hi Linda, My husband and I are lucky to have two places that are so very different…the 1730’s home with the orchard that requires a lot of work and the simple little cottage at the lake that is all about summer fun. I’m glad that you enjoy my posts about both places and their different seasons. I know that you will enjoy having a change of seasons with your move from Florida to Georgia.

  9. Just gorgeous. And how fun you had such a close encounter with the little Loons (I have close encounters with loonies all the time in my life but it is not quite the same experience). Have a safe journey back to NH. Can’t wait to see some Fall color pictures!

    1. Hi Meg, I like your way of thinking. Yes, the moment shared with the loons will always be remembered as part of this summer. I also saw the eagle on one peak looking at the American flag on an opposite peak. This summer in Maine was truly memorable. I know next year will bring new memories. Thank you for your comment.

  10. Wonderful pictures and opportunity – I have never seen one so young – only what we call “teenagers” meaning smaller than adults but with the same coloring – as I type this it is windy and a fall rainstorm is about to come on…sadly another summer done. (BUT fall brings some of its own joys so…)

    1. Hi Carol, Thank you as usual for your nice compliment. I tried to get photos of the young loon a week earlier but it was too dark in the evening when it was close to shore. It is funny…I could do a whole post on all photos that didn’t turn out. LOL. The weather has been cool and we are suppose to get the rainstorms tomorrow. Yes…summer is done. We will just have to look forward to fall and its’ glorious colors.

    1. Thank you Donna, for your very nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos of the loons…they are special, aren’t they. The leaves are just starting to turn yellow here but with lows in the 30’s F., it won’t be long until the colors change to crimson.

  11. What beautiful images. The steam coming off the lake is amazing. Your seasons change so quickly. And the lake freezes in winter? Amazing. I’m glad you’ve had a lovely summer. It must be so strange locking up the lake house and knowing you won’t be back until the next summer xx

    1. Hi Charlie, Thank you for your compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. Yes, the lake freezes and is so thick with ice that trucks drive out on it during the winter. Monday the water pipes will be drained, antifreeze put down the drains, the shades pulled and the door locked until next summer. It does feel strange.

  12. Your loon photos are amazing, they should be in Nat’l Geogrsphic!!! I love the one of him scurrying back to mom! And that last photo, there’s nothing prettier than sunset in Maine!

    1. Thank you Mary, for your lovely compliment. I was certainly in the right place at the right time to get the photos of the loons. That particular sunset was beautiful.

  13. Your photo of the steam rising up from the lake makes me wish I could snuggle up in a chair on that dock with a really good book and a blanket. I always love the month of May because the warm summer months are lingering just up ahead, just waiting to be enjoyed. Then you blink and it is September. You have so much to look forward to back at the orchard — and so do we, as hopefully you’ll share some of your lovely pictures!

    1. Hi Barb, It was in the 30’s when I took that photo of the steam coming off the lake…definitely blanket weather. The orchard is a lovely place to be in the fall. We got a request from a couple that want to take pre-wedding photos there. Hopefully the colors will be good this year.

  14. I can’t believe how quickly the year has passed. I still remember you planting the tomatoes and the flood. The lake is so beautiful that it must be hard to leave! The little chick will be all grown up when you return. I’d miss the sunset…. stunning!

    1. I have to agree with you Jenny, time passes so quickly…it seems like I just planted the tomatoes. It is hard to leave the lake but when it starts getting cold we know it is time to pack up. The little chick will be grown when we return but hopefully will return to our part of the lake. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Suzanne, I’m glad you enjoyed the post about the loons. They are a beautiful and interesting bird. I do think I’m lucky to be able to live in two beautiful places in New England. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi LouAnn, Thank you for stopping by. I glad that you enjoyed my post on the loons. I loved the way the chick reacted when he returned to his mother very triumphant! Thank you for your comment.

  15. Karen, this is such a beautiful post, everything “fits”, the amazing photography, the wonderful words and the feeling that I get while reading. You are a very lucky person indeed to be able to witness all of these changes in nature – I envy you in a really good way!

    P.S:: I wanted to thank you also for all your lovely comments – i really appreciate them! Although unfortunately we will not be able to meet while you are visiting Germany, I must admit that Bavaria is such an incredible place to visit and next time when you are visiting and feel like taking a look at the Cologne Cathedral and getting a tour of the City, I would be thrilled to meet you there and show you around!

    1. Thank you Andrea, for your lovely compliment. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post. I know that I am very lucky to be able to have such wonderful experiences. Hopefully I will get a chance to visit Cologne on another visit and take that tour with you. Thank you as always for your visit.

    1. Hi Mary, Thank you for your nice compliment. Your are right about summer cottages…they are from a simpler time. When we bought our cottage in Maine, we thought our children would visit every year but I think there isn’t enough action for them. LOL.

    1. Hi B, Thank you for your compliment. I have taken so many sunset photos but they never seem to be as impressive as the sky actually was. I was happy with this one. I do hope the loons make it back next year.

  16. Amazing images of those beautiful loons displaying fascinating behavior!
    So great that you not only relate very interesting facts about these birds but have photos to illustrate the entire scene! Well done!

  17. Great shots of the birds and the evening boat ride. Funny how everything is relative. For me it’s six long, hot months of summer and I can’t wait for the cool fall to give me some relief. Maybe we could trade homes for the summer next year.

    1. Hi Larry, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. Having lived in Key Largo and Miami, I definitely know about the heat and humidity of summer. The offer to trade homes is tempting as you have a wonderful kitchen and dock…I’m just spoiled with most summer days being in the 80’s in Maine. Sorry that I will have to pass. LOL.

    1. Thank you David, for your kind words. I’m happy that your enjoyed the post and photos. One of my favorite things about spending summers at the lake in Maine is hearing the haunting call of the loons.

  18. Those loons are so much fun! You had a great summer. Thanks for sharing it with us – at times I felt like I was right there with you! Particularly nice pictures in this post.

    1. Hi John, I really did have a great summer. A few short trips along the coast of Maine, some delicious meals and adventures with friends. It is so nice to know that you enjoyed my posts and had the feeling that you were there. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Amy, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of the loons. It was a wonderful experience to be so close to them. They provided me with wonderful memories of this summer.

  19. Just stumbled upon this blog and what a discovery this is! Your writing and pictures bring out the essence of New England so beautifully. Having lived in NY for 11 years, this brought a rush of lovely memories. We visited Vermont a lot but did not spend much time in New Hampshire and Maine, but now I know the places to go visit. I look forward to reading all the archives!

    1. Hi kdd, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. New England is very lovely and a wonderful place to visit. I hope you will enjoy my previous posts and look forward to your return.

    1. Hi Rita, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. I definitely needed the telephoto lens in the beginning. Then the mother and chick were nice enough to swim right up on our beach. Pure luck for me and now they are stars on my blog.

  20. Gorgeous colours in the last photo Karen – what a fantastic end to a day! I love the photo of the steam rising from the lake too. Isn’t it beautiful when the weather conditions are just right for that to happen? I went for an early morning drive with my wife last year and we saw great clouds of mist rolling off a lake. When we drove to another lake the mist was insanely dense – it was thick and white and rising like a great column maybe 10 or more metres in the air!

    1. Hi Charles, It is good to hear from you. That particular sunset was so beautiful…usually the camera doesn’t capture the wonderful colors but this one turned out nice. Isn’t is interesting to watch the clouds of steam forming and rising off a lake. Your experience sounds like it was quite interesting to see. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Claire, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. Isn’t the pattern of feathers on the mother loon beautiful. She looks like she is ready for a fancy dress ball. We will be finished closing the cottage on Monday…thanks for your wish for our safe trip home.

  21. Karen, it was lovely to read and beautiful to look at. Thanks! Loons are such a pleasure to watch, as well as other birds and animals. We had a geese couple in the winter and spring in the backyard to enjoy. When you see them every day, you can almost “understand” what is going on in their relationships. 🙂

    1. Thank you Marina, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos. I think you are right about getting to know and understand a little of what is happening when you see animals often.

    1. Hi Adventurer, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. The chick was so funny when he realized his mother wasn’t there…it dove into the water so fast. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Marta, Thank you for stopping by. Yes, summer truly has come to an end with lows in the 30’s and highs only reaching the 60’s. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and appreciate your compliment.

  22. It’ll be sad saying bye bye to the loons, but I can’t wait to see what delights you create from the bounty of your orchard! Emilie and I and a bunch of friends are going apple picking ourselves this weekend. 🙂

    1. Hi Ruth, Each year when we close the cottage for the season, I always hate to leave. Going back to our lovely home and the orchard does make it easier. Both homes and the seasons that we enjoy in each are so very different. Enjoy your apple picking…everyone in New England loves going to the orchards to pick their own apples.

    1. Hi Stacy, I didn’t know they were your state bird! They are such a large and beautiful bird…I can see why your state would have chosen them. I hope you will get a chance to see and hear them up close some time. They are memorable.

  23. The Loons are adorable and the sunset so beautiful…I’m glad you got a show before you left. I can’t believe your using comforter up there. It’s cooler here, but we still have air conditioning on. Looking forward to your adventures this fall.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Betsy. Yes, our weather in Maine has been cold enough for a comforter. Yesterday the low was 31, and the high was 62. It is definitely sweater weather at the lake.

      1. We have loons in MN in the northern part of the state. Since I’m in the southern part of the state, I don’t see them so I enjoyed your up-close-and-personal photos of them.

      2. I was so thrilled to have this experience with the loons and am happy that you are enjoying the photos. Perhaps you will have a close encounter sometime if you get a chance to travel to the northern part of your state…they are such a beautiful bird. On my post Lakeside Happenings on August 16th, there is an even closer look at one of the loons.

  24. A beautiful post, Karen. My last day in Michigan, Max and I were on the beach and although it was a perfect day, it was, also, the last day I’d be spending there until next year. I think it’s Fall. WIth its beautiful colors comes nostalgia for the season just passed. Enjoy the days that you have left at the lake and have a safe trip home.

    1. Thank you John, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. The summer was wonderful and relaxing. The boat is in storage, the docks are pulled and now it is time to drain the pipes and close up the cottage.

    1. Thank you Tandy, for your lovely comment. Fall is such a lovely time in New Hampshire. I’ll be pulling out the sweaters…it is time to start picking apples and pears.

  25. The loons are so interesting. I don’t believe I’ve seen one. I am the last one to want to give up summer. It’s my favorite time of the year and I go kicking and screaming into autumn. Loved your picture of steam on the lake.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Sam, I’m like you…it is hard to let go of summer and all the enjoyment that it brings. This year the weather seems to have cooled off sooner. We have had two days with 32 and 31 for lows. It is time to head home and start picking apples. Glad that you enjoyed the photos…the loons are so interesting. Have a nice weekend as well.

  26. Beautiful post and photos! 🙂 We have a pair of wild ducks that always come to our pool (while is still covered) in the early spring. They have been coming for last 5 years and we so enjoyed seeing them every time. As soon as we open the pool, they leave…

    1. Thank you Sibella, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. It is wonderful to be able to enjoy nature up close and personal. Isn’t it amazing that the pair of ducks come back each year for a visit…how nice.

    1. Hi Sophie, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. I do get to enjoy a lot of wildlife that visits the lake. I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Ming, for your nice compliment. It was a lucky moment when the loons swam up on the beach and the sunset was one of the prettiest I’ve seen. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos.

    1. Hi Natalia, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. It really was wonderful to experience the loons close up. Autumn does offer so much in the way of outdoor activities…just different.

    1. Hi Bonnie, Thank you…our lakeside cottage is in a lovely area. It is always hard to turn the key and lock up the cottage. But we have had a great summer and now it is time to head back to home in New Hampshire and apple trees just waiting to be picked.

    1. Thank you Raymund, for your nice compliment. When I saw the steam rising off the water, I knew it was time to throw on my sweater and grab my camera.

  27. Those loon pics–especially the baby ones–are adorable, Karen! How very lovely. And steam rising from water is so magical. Happy end-of-summer and beginning of something new.

    1. Thank you Kathy, for your nice comment and wish. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. It is always hard to leave the cottage at the end of summer but I’m looking forward to fall…it is such a lovely season.

  28. Karen – Such an eloquent serenade to the passing of summer! Your photos, especially the last one, are gorgeous! I thought of you when I made my Plum Pastry – it came out absolutely luscious! Safe travels back to N.H.

    1. Hi Dorothy, Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos. What do they say about great minds thinking alike…I was thinking about your lovely dessert the other day. I’ll be traveling in Germany and Austria in a couple of weeks and I’m sure I will see a plum pastry that will remind my of ours.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. Our cottage in Maine really does have a lovely view. It is always hard to leave at the end of summer.

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