Graphite on paper
By: Ben Watson III
The winters on Topsail Island, NC are quiet and the pace is slow.This time of year the loons leave their breeding lakes in the North because they freeze up. They don't go to lakes farther South because of preying alligators and the water is too warm for loons, or too shallow and murky for diving and hunting. Loons need clear, deep, open water for diving and catching fish. The ocean is the right place for them in winter.Unlike the ponds and lakes the ocean can become ruff and hard to navigate. Once in awhile you will see a loon struggle against the waves and find it hard to maintain its ability to feed.This can be exhausting for the them and on one occasion while there I saw a loon laying on the sand just beyond the incoming waves.I went down onto the beach to check on it. The loon was alive but looked weary as it laid with its beak tucked into its wings.I decided to get this beautiful bird into a box and call for some help. I set him down on the porch and called a local area bird rescue to get some assistance. They told me that they would be over and take the bird to nurse it back to health.I watched the loon as I waited hoping for signs of recovering but there was little movement.Before anyone could get to us the loon died. I buried it in the sand and wondered how many times this happens in a season to other loons. Probably many but it was this time that I was there to see the tragedy play out to a sorrowful end.Our fellow creatures endure many hardships that we are not aware of everyday.So when we become irresponsible with our treatment of the our environment we multiply the odds against all living things.We should all respect the world around us and be more aware of our actions, not profits that will effect the planet.