Seeing the birds reminded my of my favorite wet field story from a Roseau County, MN farmer. It happened a few years ago, but I still laugh when I picture him out in the field trying to help a stranded loon. Loons are the Minnesota state bird, and you can't help but get a little shiver whenever you hear their call. I think all Minnesotans are a little protective of them.
This farmer had a field full of water, and a loon decided to stop by. As the water began the recede, the loon stayed put, until finally, the water was all gone, but the loon remained. Each day this farmer would go on his 4-wheeler, trying to scare away the loon, but the bird just stood there and nipped at the tires. This went on for a few days, until the farmer found out that loons cannot fly unless they take off from water. If you leave a loon on dry land, it will be stuck. Their feet are too far back on their body, and they are not able to move very well on dry land. They are meant to be in water.
So this farmer went back into the field on his 4-wheeler, and threw his jacket over the loon. He hopped back on the 4-wheeler, with the loon struggling against him, and drove to the ditch, which was still full of water. He dropped the loon into the ditch full of water, and without even looking back, the loon took off into the air.
I still laugh picturing this farmer on his 4-wheeler trying to rescue the loon. They're not small birds, but farmers are the original environmentalists, and this farmer couldn't bear to watch the animal struggle.
I hope the water recedes soon, and the birds are replaced with crops. Just this week we had our first 40 degree day since last November (6 months, and nothing over 40 degrees!!!), and this weekend it may even hit 60 degrees. In Minnesota terms, that means it's time to bring out the swimsuit.