Loon at Walden

This morning I walked from Wright Woods conservation land past Walden Pond to Goose Pond. On my way back to the car, I passed by the main beach at Walden. It was a warm sunny day, so as you’d expect the beach was crowded with humanity.

And there, past the buoys that mark the area that the lifeguards watch, was a Common Loon (Gavia immer) diving underwater, presumably for small fish or some other underwater food.

It was surprising to see a loon at Walden Pond in July — twenty years ago when I lived in the town of Concord, you might see a loon during migration, but I don’t remember ever seeing one during summer breeding season. It may be that the resurgence of the beaver population in the area has changed the landscape enough that loons now have adequate habitat to breed; although that’s purely speculation on my part.

Another highlight of my walk past Walden Pond worth mentioning is the Thoreau Society bookstore. They focus on Thoreau of course, but they also stock an excellent selection of books relating to the other nineteenth century Concord authors — certainly the best selection of publications relating to the Concord authors that I’ve seen. While in the store, I chatted with Corinne Smith, a librarian and author. She told me that the “Thoreau Edition,” published by Princeton University Press and currently based at the University of California Santa Barbara, has released preliminary versions of the journals from 1854 to the end of Thoreau’s life (the “Thoreau Edition” has already published print versions of the journals from 1831 to 1854).

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