Yes, this is my first blog entry. And what better way to introduce myself than to announce the culmination of a project I have in mind for some time now.

For over the past decade or more I have been photographing Common Loons across the fresh waters of Maine and New Hampshire with several goals in mind, one of which was to create a book. But not just any book, but one that explored the mystical and fascinating relationship people who live in loon country have with these large, red-eyed aquatic birds that fill our days (and nights) with their wails, tremolos and yodels. No northern summer is truly complete without the sound of a loon echoing across the waters of a still lake or seeing that unmistakable silhouette appear on the waters of a pond.

With that in I mind I set out to find people who are as entranced by Common Loons as I am and collect their written submissions about these birds. The writings came in the form of first hand accounts, recollections of experiences with loons as they went about their daily lives and poems about loons from people of all ages the world over.

Released in July of this year, Gavia - Tales From Loon Country pairs my photographs with some of those submissions. If you do read it some day I hope you enjoy doing so as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Capturing these images or just observing loons in their environment was worth all the hours spent paddling on the water, navigating misty mornings on a still lake, dealing with wind on not-so-still lakes, getting wet, early risings and getting home late. Just another of example of Common Loon magic. And what a spell they cast!

A percentage of the sales of each copy of Gavia - Tales From Loon Country will go to support Common Loon research and conservation efforts throughout New England. The organizations receiving those donations are Biodiversity Research Institute; The Loon Preservation Committee in Moultonborough, New Hampshire; Maine Audubon's Annual Loon Count; Vermont Center for Ecostudies and Avian Haven, a licensed avian rehabilitation facility in Freedom, Maine.

Since being released close to $500.00 from the sale of Gavia - Tales From Loon Country has been donated to Common Loon research, rescue and conservation efforts in Maine and New Hampshire.

Gavia - Tales From Loon Country is currently available at my gallery located in Rangeley, Maine, at the Loon Preservation Committee's gift shop in Moultonborough, the Maine Audubon gift store in Falmouth, Freeport Wild Bird Supply, Day's Store in Belgrade, Devaney Doak and Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, White Birch Books in North Conway and Sherman's Books in Damariscotta and Bar Harbor.  Or you can reach me by contacting me using the contact form on this site or by calling 207 670-8427 to place an order. The retail cost is $24.95, plus state tax if applicable and $4 shipping and handling per copy.

Nick Leadley

Rangeley, Maine

August 3, 2017