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.
Hunting the elusive purple loosestrife (belatedly)
In the summer of 2019, the chanterelle and other mushrooms came late to the lake, and when they came, they came in profusion. Our dedication to seeking them out was vastly rewarding, in a culinary sense, but distracted us from the annual battle against the pretty but nasty invasive weed, the purple loosestrife -- and now, on 1 September, we may have left matters too late. This is a solo reconnaisance to 'Beaver Island' (colloquially Ryden's Island), approaching from the north.
The island protrudes from the shoreline into the narrow gap between the main lake in the north and the southern bays, and there is what used to claim to be a dock here on the southern side.
We'll step onto it with some misgivings.
But first, we'll let these large boys vroom through the 75m (245') gap to the farther shore, the main body of the Tigertail.
It's a parade of large boys making a lot of noise. There's no one else on the lake today, as it's cold and windy, but such motorized enthusiasm can't be dissuaded.
A thorough hunt round the little island, but no sign of the loosestrife so far.
A very nice picnicking spot (in more pleasant weather) -- one wonders if there was ever a cabin here (we'll ask Cousin Rob).
A glance down towards the southern bays, just a kilometre away by the highway bridge
That's the rocky sandbar connecting the island with the western shore of the lake -- for quite a few years, until about three years ago, that was high and dry and this wasn't an island at all.
The same rocky sandbar from the southern side
We neglected to tie the bike up to something, and there it goes. Here it comes, rather; luckily, the wind is blowing it this way.
We can pronounce Ryden's Island as apparently loosestrife-free. That's one down.
Just off the island, in the gap between the lakes, this huge rock has removed many a propeller from its boat. It wears its scars rather proudly, and when the water level is lower, it shows them off.
Now we've moved on, 300m to the north, to 'Crescent Island' (colloquially, Raymond's Island), which annually has an aggressive crop of the dreaded weed most of the way around it.
This is the only one of the seven islands on the lake that's got a house on it -- we found no vile weeds along the eastern shore, and we're passing round the north side.
We're being watched.
We passed just under this adult raptor and noticed a kayaker just a bit farther off-shore pointing his camera up into the trees. Voilà.
A quick survey has revealed several stands of loosestrife along the shore leading around to the dock, but they're well protected by the tag alder barrier.
So, a clever idea -- we'll tie up here on the rocky reef and sneak in behind the barrier.
-- Wait there.
Mission accomplished, just as the owner comes out from his shore station and gives a cheery wave.
Dumping off our bag of loosestrife by the dock and coming back to the cottage, we find the juvenile eagle patiently awaiting prey. Call in the cats.
The next morning, 2 September 2019, he's still circling the point single-mindedly.
Don't let the cats out.
Today we're shifting Elke's paddleboard back to the other house across the lake. One of the Wavemaker boats has been thrashing around out here, but happily, it's just gone home for late-afternoon cocktails.
For the time being, the lake has been left to us and this flotilla of kayaks (and one float-boat passing by in the background, the crew enjoying their late-afternoon cocktails on the water).
It's a kilometre and a half paddle into a hearty breeze, but our paddler makes it look easy.
The kayakers have gathered to stare up at the eagles' nest.
Calmer waters in the lee of the point
We're off on a meticulous loosestrife survey of Tomahawk Bay, noting as we pedal along that some of the fallen trees have tipped over away from the lake instead of into it.
It's reminiscent of fallen trees in the Alps, where the thin soil cover brings up piles of rocks wrapped up in the root tangles.
Through the graveyard of old logs along the northern shore of Tomahawk Bay
A souvenir on the lake bottom -- some passing boater may have been listening to the news on his radio, and grew so angry that he threw his little American flag right into the lake.
'Deadheads', they're called
But no purple loosestrife at all, mercifully
Determination, and vigilance. Still no loosestrife.
Along the western shore of Tomahawk Bay -- there are only three cottages facing onto the Bay, and they're all here along the western shore.
Last summer we had one 300 horsepower outboard motor on the lake, as well as one 250-hp and one 200-hp, along with many 70s, 60s, 50s (and 25s, as at Mussent Point). This year, the one 300-hp has been upgraded to a 400-hp, which is taller than Cousin Rob.
That's a very powerful rating even for a sizable car -- and the boat even has its own fold-out diving board.
A Berkshire supreme, with a third pontoon to support the senselessly-powerful outboard motor.
At the next dock, a colorful little shrine of some sort
A colorful and very patriotic little shrine
And some metal silhouette wolves howing at a metal moon
And a cute little frog basking on a log -- the first cute little frog we've seen on the lake in the past three years, but alas, a fake.
And a cute little turtle basking on a log -- the first cute little turtle we've seen on the lake in the past two years, but alas, a fake.
Continuing our loosestrife scrutiny along the southern shore of the main lake
A fluttery movement on the hillside
It's two pileated woodpeckers, carrying on with their unending quest for little beetles, etc.
Mind the obstacles
A familiar sound comes from those tragically declining trees.
They seem to be everywhere, all the time -- the same two adults and one juvenile.
Such a symbol of nobility, power, dominion, dignity -- it's even been the symbol of many political enterprises, like the Hittites, the Byzantine Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, the Roman Empire, St John the Evangelist, the Sultan Saladin, the USA, and Indonesia. Makes you think twice when you see him ripping a chipmunk's innards out, but that's life.