Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jewel # 189 (Sept 28, 2014)

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“They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

Crazy as a Loon

“Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
(Joshua 1:9)

Walking along a mountain trail in the Cascade Mountains near Seattle, Washington, we were startled by a loud, laugh-like cry nearby.  Puzzled, we we went on walking and soon heard it again.  To investigate, we left the trail and soon came to a small lake.  There swimming around we saw two large birds with black heads, white breasts and beautifully speckled black-and-white wings.  Our wondering about the strange calls we had heard was soon answered when one of the birds opened its long, sharp beak, raised its head and gave out the loud laugh-like cry.  And so we were introduced to the common loon.  

The bird spotted us and took off, kicking the water vigorously with their webbed feet until they rose above the surface.  With necks outstretched and wings flapping rapidly, they were quickly airborne and soon out of sight.  This beautiful display made us decide to learn more about them.  

We learned that great numbers live on small, isolated lakes in Canada and the northern United States and some seacoast areas.  When on land they seem awkward, for the Creator designed them for the water where they are excellent swimmers, both on the surface and underwater.  They swim faster than most fish, which form their main food supply.  They have wonderful vision, and before diving submerge their heads, turning them from side to side to locate prey.  Then with a quick dive and underwater swim, they make their catch.

Loons are from two to three feet long, with a wingspan of about five feet, and weigh from ten to fourteen pounds.  Their life span is about thirty years.  In April a pair incubate two eggs for about a month.  The new born hatchlings are cute, with coal-black soft down.  Soon they are swimming with the parents, sometimes riding piggyback.  The parents feed them and care for them for about three months.

Groups of adult loons often join in choruses of hoots, cries and yodelling.  The strange-sounding result is what produced the expressions “crazy as a loon” and “looney.”  Actually, they are among the world’s outstanding birds.  Canada, which has a high population of loons, has a one-dollar coin with an image of a loon on one side.  This coin is commonly called a “loonie.”

Loons are another example of the wonders of God’s creation and are included in His words, “I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are Mine” (Psalm 50:11).  Another Psalm tells us, “The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).  This is specifically true of every boy and girl, man and woman on earth.  

Have you thanked Him for His love and care for you? 

I love you all,
Grandpa

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