“The Loons! The Loons!”
Who can forget that famous line from the 1981 movie, “On Golden Pond”, when Katherin Hepburn announces to Henry Fonda the spring arrival of their resident loons on the lake. If the movie were to be made today here at White River Marsh, it would be titled, “On Henry’s Pond” and Ms. Hepburn’s opening line would be, “The Whoopers! The Whoopers!”
For the last couple of weeks or so, Henry’s Pond has been a destination of choice for our little wanderers. And it’s not just because it was named after my favorite whooper of them all, 5-12, aka. “Henry,” although if you were in the market for a lakefront home and Henry was a realtor, he would definitely be your man… ah, whooper.
The pond forms a perfect little piece of crane heaven only a short flight from the pen. It was Henry’s sanctuary last year for two weeks after Richard, Hillary and I caught him and replaced his dead transmitter. A cruel betrayal, he thought. Everyone needs a place to lick their wounds, so off to the pond he went. And it was the perfect choice. “And it’s spring fed,” a hunter told me. So while the chicks’ other favorite North Pond dries to mud, Henry’s Pond remains wet and happy. We installed a crane decoy up in the center of the pond as a bulls-eye and the rest is history.
Then, to make things even more exciting, Henry and his pal, 30-16, changed their normal roosting site from a mile or so away to where else? Henry’s Pond. It wasn’t exactly “Old Home Week” because young whoopers don’t usually welcome older whoopers with open… ah, wings.
Still, hope springs eternal. As time goes on and nights turn into weeks, our hope is that a bond will form between young and old and Henry will teach them a few survival skills and possibly lead them south to his wintering grounds at St Marks sometime in November. Time will tell.
“So… where is Henry’s Pond …. and how can I buy property there? My husband and I plan to retire soon and Henry’s Pond sounds like just the place!”
“Hang on one minute, please, and I’ll get him for you.”