Amy’s Blog

I Love Loons!

Many days during my visits to Michigan, I hop on my kayak and head up Torch River to search for loons. I am drawn to these elegant birds with the black and white pattern on their bodies, one of nature’s unique masterpieces. Here is my view as I write this post.

View of Torch Lake

If I am lucky I will hear the loon call (think of the movie On Golden Pond). Most of the time I pedal up river in my Hobie Mirage kayak to catch a glimpse and photograph a loon or two. I am always eager to catch their red eyes glowing in the shot. The photos were taken with my zoom camera, a Canon sx70HS.

Amy on kayak

To see the images of the loons larger, click on them below.

Along with pattern and design in nature, I love the graphic design and illustrations I find in vintage illustrations I discover on the pages of my book collection, some of which I share in my shop as digital images as well as ebooks.

Here is a loon illustration from my 1931 bird book that I recently found at an estate sale in Suttons Bay, Michigan.

Birds of America

Nature’s treasures in the present and visual treasures from the past are my favorite themes to collect, curate, and preserve. As I have in this post I like to connect the two – my modern photography with my collection of vintage books and ephemera. I hope you will join me in the journey and share my stories with others you know who might enjoy my passions too. Encourage them to visit my blog and subscribe to my newsletter. That would really help me out as I want to continue to provide content like this.

 Here are some fun facts I learned while researching for this post: 

  • Loons are offered often called the “feathered fish” since much of their life is spent underwater. They can swim underwater for up to 3 minutes.
  • Loons only touch land at birth, mating, and nesting.
  • Ember goose is the name for the common loon in Northern Europe. A folklore legend describes how it got the distinctive coloration by being doused with ashes and embers.
  • In most parts of the world, loons are referred to as the Great Northern Diver.
  • The peculiar call or laughing of the loon is tied to the modern term “crazy as a loon.”
  • The sleek black and white breeding plumage changes in Winter to gray and white the red eyes never change.

I never get tired of observing and photographing the stunning beauty of these fascinating birds.  I hope you enjoyed this post and have a chance to enjoy these animals as I do. Here is Torch River’s location on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the “mitten”. Create custom embroidery for the land that you love with this book! For more information on the book, watch this book review video on my YouTube Channel or check out this post.

Land That I Love Michigan Towel

Land That I Love

If you are looking to celebrate the states that you love, whether it’s the ones you live in or the ones you love to visit. Check out my book, Land That I Love.

In this embroidery design book, you’ll discover that home is where your heart is –or where your state pride resides! Now you can accent your home with modern yet classic stitchery.

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  1. Susy Boyer

    Hi Amy,
    Great pictures of the loons. Think Katherine Hepburn saying, “Loons”. One of my all time favorite movies. And you are one of my all time favorite people too. Love your style and your books. I have been a big fan for many years. Thank you for creating.

    • Amy Barickman

      Hi Susy, You are so kind! I appreciate your thank-you!!! I love to share creative inspiration and am blessed with a wonderful community! I am thinking of Katherine’s “Loons” and now need to watch the movie before I leave Michigan next week. Thanks again for commenting and please share your enjoyment with friends who might be creatively amused by my work. Word of mouth is the best!

  2. Kim Bates

    Beautiful pics of the loons! Love the embroidery book, too.

    • Amy Barickman

      Thanks Kim!! I am glad you enjoyed the embroidery book. I am thinking I should have offered a Loon design on the Michigan page. Now I am on the hunt for the perfect Loon embroidery design! Stay tuned!

  3. Claudia J. Glennan

    Can you see a loon and NOT think of “On Golden Pond”?

    • Amy Barickman

      I agree Claudia! I want to visit the location of the filming one day- Squam Lake in New Hampshire I believe.

      • Wendi Unrein

        Sigh….although being raised in Chicago burbs, I grew up in Meechigan down by Kzoo. Went to college there and ventured north to Torch lake, a wonderful wonderful area!! Loons are my fav as is On Golden Pond! Thank you for this wonderful post as although I now reside in KC my heart is always in the north!

        • Amy Barickman

          KC is an awesome place to live but I am with you Wendi on Up North! The land that I love most- so much nature to see and the cool breezes of the sacred waters of Torch, the beautiful! I just found a vintage pamphlet about a 1920’s girls camp on Torch Lake and that was the description.I will share some photo from that piece on Instagram at Amy Barickman Studio

    • Martha

      I fell in love with loons from On Golden Pond. it is on my bucket list to see and hear a loon in person.Great photos.

  4. Dawn Tenneson

    Beautiful pictures and love the Loons calling! Favorite movie of mine is On Golden Pond!

    • Amy Barickman

      Thanks Dawn! I need to watch that movie again. It’s a rainy day Up North so today may be the day!

  5. Laura

    You got some great Loon pictures. Thanks for sharing your time with them.

    • Amy Barickman

      You are welcome Laura! I love to capture nature and hope to share more in the future! So stay tuned!

  6. Donna di Natale

    I also love loons. Their call is so basic to the soul. To see the adults with their young is so precious. Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Linda K.

    I love Loons too. Excellent shots and beautiful too.

    • Amy Barickman

      Thanks Linda! I am hoping to get more shots in the next few weeks.


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