You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Loosestrife patrol, Birds in Art, Mussent Point
Passing the Point o' Pines boathouse, 3 September 2019, on Loosestrife Patrol -- note the first results piled safely up on the dock.
Another lakeside casualty
What a mess
We're working our way along the shore past the public landing and swimming beach
Cousin Rob's well-trained eye, long experience, and weed instincts have led to another small victory over the vile invasives.
The public landing and picnic area
Nice 'cottages' along the lake, presently loosestrife-free, ostensibly (but, if memory serves better than it usually does, we noticed some patches here earlier in the summer).
Another pleasant cottage
We're falling behind. Cousin Rob's on a roll.
Now back to 'Crescent Island' (aka Raymond's), where two days ago one of our party cleared the reef area on the left
Whilst the rest of our party descends upon on the dock area, we'll work our way along the island's southern shore, which is pretty well infested.
-- Wait there.
A pretty good haul
Today's job well done, the rest of our party heads off for home, . . .
. . . and we bounce along over the choppy waves to Mussent Point in the north.
This past winter's Mussent Point casualty
The next day, blessedly calm waters for a change -- that's the disused sailing boat hung out there to keep aggressive jetskiers at a respectful distance from the shore.
Today, 4 September, we're solo loosestrifing the northern bays, but first, this is the point of Mussent Point.
And this is the exact point of the point of Mussent Point.
And this is the landward view from the exact point of the point of Mussent Point -- Kristin's cottage.
And the overgrown cove that we've learnt the neighbors have christened 'Frog Bay'
Circling overhead. Round and round. Just reminding us that he's always there -- like surveillance drones.
After another few hours of concentrated purple loosestrifing, Cousin Rob heads home again.
Birds in Art
We're booked into the Jefferson Street Inn in downtown Wausau, Wisconsin, 6 September 2019, ready for the 44th annual Birds in Art exhibition in the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. This is also the venue for the gala Birds-in-Art gang dinner upstairs, the social event of the year (whilst one of our party will be downstairs with a reuben in the City Grill).
A commodious room, not terribly expensive, and better than driving back up north after the festive Birds in Art dinner in the evening (and a relaxing few hours in the City Grill)
Looking through the screen down onto 4th street, Wausau, with its permanent umbrella installation
We're at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum up the hill, nearly an hour and a half before they open the doors for the gala social event, where we can view this year's featured art works and quiz the artists on their inspirations.
We've come early because once the doors open for the public at 17:30, serious fans burst in and race for the room where the artists' postcards are pinned up for sale ($50 a pop, one to a customer (unless you nab one and get back on the end of the line for another)). Kristin is a serious fan, and requires the presence of an aide to qualify for choosing two at the same time.
Normally, the competition is fierce, even if the postcards sale is essentially a fundraising mechanism for the museum. Unfortunately, the artists themselves and museum insiders have already had a first go at the cards on offer, so it's said to be very important that we be far forward in the line outside waiting for the opening.
So this year, we're virtually first in line. 75 minutes standing by the door with a tiny paperback book about Flemish art in the Prado, and time-killing small talk buzzing all round us.
It's nearly our turn in line, cheered by some pretty rude but free white wine -- the collection looks thinned out already, but we've subsequently been told that we're very happy with our selections anyway.
We're also early into the exhibitions and can actually get a few moments to contemplate the 100 works on view before the place fills up, elbow to elbow, with the cream of Wausau society renewing old acquaintances, making new ones, spearing tiny cheese and sausage bits with more white wine, and sometimes congratulating the hovering artists on their efforts.
Our esteemed purple loosestrifing colleague, temporarily out of his loosestrifing costume. We've slipped outside to escape the crush of humanity for a few moments.
An amazing pencil drawing by Giorgia Oldano from Italy, who's been one of the winners for almost all of the past six or seven years but hasn't been able to attend in person this year.
Wausau en fête
After the grand opening and fundraising dinner in the Jefferson Street Inn on 6 September, the Birds in Art exhibition opens on the 7th and runs through to 1 December 2019, after which 50 of the works will go on tour until next autumn. In the meantime, on Saturday 7 September, the city of Wausau hosts a citywide arts and crafts fair called this year the Artrageous Weekend.
We're here every year for the ceremonial Friday evening opening, but sometimes we prefer to forgo the arts fair and head on home.
Our room this year was right up there somewhere.
So though this year we're in a hurry to get back up north (we miss the cats), some photos of previous years' Wausau art fairs can be seen here and here.
Back home, we can admire Choupette's investigative spirit.
And her sense of balance. (Any cat that can turn a 360° a metre in the air can certainly balance on a piece of furniture.)
A Mussent Point walkabout: the driveway through the family's property, and a totem pole created for Joellen the matriarch's birthday in 2015.
A very strange tree, hanging out over the boathouse
Last winter's casualty
What a mess
The lake at its most photogenic (brownish version)
The lake at its most photogenic (green version)
The graveyard of old bicycles
The bridge into the Unknown
It's better left Unknown.