Man oh man, have the loons been out this summer at Isle Royale. By my estimate, there are three pairs of loons living and breeding in Rock Harbor, the main entry harbor, and another couple pairs in Tobin Harbor close by. I have been seeing the loons regularly on my canoe and boat journeys at the island this year. They seem not the least concerned with boating traffic of any kind any longer. My son Logan and I went past a loon in our roundabout -- the loon just popped up close by all of a sudden -- at a distance of only about 25 feet and didn't even flinch or pay us the least mind. This is a shot of one of the Rock Harbor loons fishing near Bat Island, which stands across the channel from the islet on which I was standing to take the photo. There have been so many days lately just like the one shown, beautifully sunny with pleasant temperatures and low humidity. Sad to say, we need rain, and it's starting to get serious. I would say the island is in semi-drought conditions now and is drying out dangerously. I am hiking with greater care because everything is getting that burned-out look.

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