Just Call Me MAM

I wrote MAM's musings weekly for almost 10 years. I began it with the Silver City Sun-News. When the editor who had taken on the column left the paper, I offered it to the Silver City Daily Press, and the editor, Richard Correa, grabbed it. Since early 2001, it appeared every Friday in the Daily Press, with the exception of two times that I recall. I'll update it as new sightings happen, so check regularly.

So MAM's musings has been re-created as Just Call Me MAM with a similar topic and musings about the outdors.

It comprises my observations and my opinion.

This edition of Just Call Me MAM will feature sunsets from two "News"—New York and New Mexico—taken on the same night, a couple of hours apart, Aug. 15, 2019

Granted, the water of Paradox Lake in upstate New York adds to the drama, but I personally think our sunset last night, Aug. 15, 2019, just outside of Silver City offers good competition.

Ellie George said: "To top off yesterday’s bear adventure, the sunset was spectacular at our home at Paradox Lake. It only lasted about 5 minutes, but what glory while the sun glowed from under the clouds."

img 5042Paradox Lake, New York, photo by Ellie George

img 5316Outside Silver City, Nw Mexico, photo by Mary Alice Murphy

[MAM Note: Through a mutual friend, Caroline Baldwin, I get to vicariously experience the adventures of Ellie George in upstate New York. Although she did see loons on this trip, the highlight was her (safe) encounter with a bear.] 

img 9811 young bear eating berries bear pd. 8 14 19I went to Bear Pond today to monitor the loons. I don’t really like to go to Bear Pond because it is too far from my house (an hour and a half drive), the loons are skittish, and the banded loon has very difficult bands to read with letters and numbers. Also, all the land surrounding the pond is owned by a Boy Scout camp, and a couple of years ago a camp counselor gave me a hard time and asked me to leave the pond, stating that the scouts owned the whole pond and I was not allowed on it. He was not correct, and after contacting the DEC about this they spoke with the scouts and told them that if the public gains access to the pond right by the road bridge, they have the right to paddle the pond, but not to get out on shore except at the bridge. That is what I have always done.

Photos and Comments Courtesy of Ellie George via Caroline Baldwin


The chicks are thriving, and are not even a month old yet but look bigger than their age. The parents continue to stuff them with small fish, and I rarely hear the chicks beg. Instead of racing to the parent who has just caught a fish, the chicks wait for the parent to bring the fish to them, and even then sometimes need some encouragement to take it. “Gee, Mom, do I really have to eat another minnow?” The chicks are lucky to have such great parents and to live in a lake with a large food supply. Now if they can just avoid all the motor boats. . .

[MAM note: For those of you who may be as awestruck by birds and especially loons, as I am, I continue this series of loon photos that Ellie George of New York state in the Adirondacks region takes near where she lives. Her photography is amazing.]

img 9430 2 chicks under dads wing paradox 6 21 19Sometimes it’s good to be wrong. On Wednesday I paddled out to Grass Island to check the loon nest and found only egg shell pieces in it. That meant that either the chicks had hatched or a predator had gotten the eggs. I found both adult loons swimming and diving far from shore, and no chicks were present. I watched them fish for awhile and decided that they had no chicks, and that the nest must have been predated. Sometimes loons will stash their chicks along the shoreline while they fish, but not usually with very young chicks, and I had not seen the Paradox loon pair stash their chicks last year until the chicks were much larger. I was sad that there would be no loon chicks on the lake this year.

Live from Silver City

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