"I recently took a trip to New Hampshire for a week on Lake Winnipesaukee. It was very peaceful and I got to watch loons. A loon is special bird that dives to eat fish. In the summer it migrates to fresh water lakes to raise their young and in the winter they migrate back to the ocean."
Taken from my letter to families introducing myself before school starts. A side note, I have always sent new families a letter introducing myself, mentioning a few things they may need to help them at school, a few hopes I have for the year. I think it's really important for parents to know a little something about the person they are trusting to spend that first day of school with, at any grade but even more so in kindergarten.
When traveling, it's always fun to find books special to that area to learn more about where we've been and help us collect memories. I was thrilled to find moon loon by Sandy Ferguson Fuller to help talk to my students about my summer. The story starts with a little girl wondering why the loon she observes cries/wails? She continues to wonder more questions sharing bits of loon information which leads to further wondering. For example, "I know that loons will mate for life. Where is your wife?" The girl shares information she knows based on observations through a short verse, often in a poetic form. At the end of the summer the little girl and the loon will part. The girl leaving the lake to her home and the loon returning to salt water, ocean waters. The girl continues to pose questions about their time apart and the ending is the start of the following spring. The illustrations are beautiful and just enough to share with my new students about the fascinating bird, that swims and isn't a duck.
My own great vacation observation was having a loon swim close to the dock and watching it swim completely under the clear water. Their sound is peaceful to hear at night or in the early morning as it echos across the lake. I was then surprised to hear my family has seen them in the Finger Lakes Region just last summer. This seems a bit inland from salt water. That's a wondering I have.