I heard their distant and haunting song just before the last holiday and I knew they had returned once again and brought winter with them. I have read that the Ojibwa Indians said the loon song was an omen of death. It has never seemed that sad to me. It is a lovely piercing cry that carries far across the water and if it is an omen of death it sounds 'released.' It may sound like a lover calling that last passionate plea declaring love for his mate. They fly all the way from Canada to winter here in my river. Their torpedo shaped body disappears for great lengths of time beneath the surface of the river, reappearing hundreds of feet away to avoid a photo. We now are getting dozens of them out in the middle of the river but very few near my shore. Since they cannot walk well on land with their legs placed so far back, they were named the loon. I have never seen one on land. Although their average life span is 30 years, they have so many predators on land, water and in the sky, that it is a miracle they survive at all. This photo (probably a female) is the best I got this year...thus far.