Thursday, August 22, 2013

Crazy as a Loon

So I'm up here in the north woods
Just staring at a lake
Wondering just exactly how much
They think a man can take
I eat fish to pass the time away
'Neath this blue Canadian moon
This old world has made me crazy
Crazy as a loon
Lord, this world will make you crazy
Crazy as a loon
                            -John Prine
                                        "Crazy as a Loon"

Well, this picture wasn't taken in Canada; it was taken along the auto tour route in Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in 2008.  However, this Common Loon (Gavia immer) was definitely acting "loony".  

There seems to be some confusion about the origin of the word "loon".  Some sources list it as deriving from an Old Norse word for "diver", others from a Middle English word (possibly derived from a Dutch word) for "crazy person" or possibly "clumsy person", or from the Latin root luna for "moon" from which lunatic (crazy person) also arises.  There is also a Scottish word loon which means refers to a lad - and we all know that young "lads" can act crazy at times.  Just like this loon.

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