You Haven't Experienced the Northwoods Until You . . .

(Friday, 08 August 2008) by Michele Cozzens

loon.jpg . . . Get your photo taken next to the giant loon in Mercer, Wisconsin.

Yes, it is I who stands in front of the World's Third Largest loon known as "Claire d'Loon." Made of fiberglass, she weighs a whopping 2,000 pounds and stands 16 feet tall. When she arrived in Mercer in 1981, Claire was the world's largest talking loon; however, her voice box broke. She has also been shot several times, and recently the town of Mercer raised funds to repair her.

I saw no evidence of wounds when I stood next to her the other day, just after selling jewelry at the annual "Loon Day" event downtown. The loon wood sculpture I'm carrying is, by the way, to scale.

According to my sources the world's largest loon is a floating loon in Virginia, followed in size by a concrete loon in Minnesota. If Claire gets back her voice, she will once again be the world's largest talking loon. I'm not sure that's necessary given the number of loon-callers who participated in the annual loon-calling contest. It's amazing how many Northwoods residents can perfectly imitate the haunting hoots and yodels of this prehistoric creature.



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