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.
Undiscarded bits and pieces from late August 2022
We're dashing to the highway bridge following reports that a huge herd of sparrows were sheltering there from the recent storm.
But, well . . . [always just a little too late]. This straggler flew off as soon as we came near (camera-shy).
The South Bay, past the bridge, is like a graveyard of former trees.
But these two have boosted our turtle-sighting statistics for the summer.
We should have been jubilating more discreetly. We've frightened them: sploosh.
Another funny tree, competing for the sunlight against the taller trees in its own innovative way
Another muskrat (or the same muskrat, but farther south) pumping along around the Tigertail Point.
Choupette looking for some afternoon action on the dock, 20 August 2022.
Failing that, a watchful interlude awaiting diversions of any sort, or failing that in turn . . .
. . . a nap.
That's a forgotten little creek, just left of centre, which we've always dreamt of conquering. On suitable watercraft, not hydrobikes. It leaps out at us on Google Maps, 200 meters back to a badly swamped-up little pond of no use to anyone. We live in fear that someone else will brave the overgrown muck and claim it as their own.
Back into the venerable late-19th century canal, growing increasingly awkward as late summer evaporation is inching the lake level down, presenting more and more submerged débris to the propellers.
But we're back seeking more turtle photos and won't be deterred.
Our Enduring Faith is rewarded.
We sneak up so as not to discommode the poor thing. David Attenborough had teams of photographers who could zoom in on turtles on the moon (or even anthills), but we need to sneak up, holding our breath, with our wee little Canon PowerShot.
His tiny head's up, he's listening nervously. Back off!
No more turtles for today . . . leaving us feeling curiously unfulfilled. But after all, they're only turtles, and they all look the same.
But, it turns out, that's not entirely true.
Cousin Rob captured a photo of this gruesome Chelydra serpentina on 14 May 2022 -- it's good that we weren't here to see this, we might have fainted and fallen in. Get too close and it might snap your leg off.
We regularly check in on the eagles' nest on Adjidaumo Island -- we're got reason to believe that we've been blessed with multiple generations of our vile eagle family. There's at least one juvenile (no white head yet) hanging out with the white-headed adults and who's bigger than they are, but there are still non-stop aggrieved baby squawkings coming out of the base camp every time we pass by (i.e., daily).
Like a Tim Burton something-or-other joining us for Hallowe'en. 'Come on, children, we'll have fun. And cakes.'
In the long stretch between the upper and lower parts of the lake, and a rare calm day, we amuse ourselves with this arboreal victim of the natural processes, which, though touching bottom here and there, is not exactly stationary. We can bounce it around a bit, and swivel it about by pushing on it with the pontoons. We don't know why we want to do that; we don't exactly want to, to be honest, we just do it.
The predatory woodpeckers have been merciless. It has died a protracted and futile death.
9 a.m. is cat-release time, and in their fourth month on the lake, with the temperatures declining, it takes them a while to remember why they begged so hard to get out.
Resenting dad's reading time out on the lawn is one activity that never grows tiresome.
And then there's dad's time catching up on the appalling US news online; perhaps they're just trying to spare him.
At least until mom comes home and might be preparing to announce that the cat-dinner's ready.
The Registered Nightmare Former Governor of Wisconsin loosened up the shoreline building regulations (100 feet instead of 200 feet), and there were widespread fears that developers might immediately double the number of cottages on the lake. That didn't happen, but we did have one doubtfully legal boathouse constructed, with a new cottage going up on the same plot of shoreline.
But clearly, 'cottage' is not really the best term for it.
The winds, and therefore the waves, have been fairly brutal these last days, but we're enjoying a calm day and . . .
. . . pedaling along pleasantly, enjoying all nature's shoreline wreckage, especially the ones in funny shapes.
It will come to all of us someday, we must assume.
Our neighbors across the northern end of the lake. Nice flag.
Choupette has a sad fascination with the old (1938) boathouse, and can wait for long periods of time hoping that someone will open the door for her. (At which time, she'll dash in and hide.)
Now we're back to the ultra-blustery weather, a little bouncy even up here at the top of the lake.
And still bouncier out in the mid-lake, otherwise (in sailing terms) known as . . .
. . . the 'fetch' [Cousin Rob's a sailor / we are not: it's alleged to mean 'the time and distance covered by the same wind on an unobstructed body of water. . . . The longer the wind blows and the greater the distance it covers - thus the greater the fetch - the greater the wave height.]
Well, we're starting to get white-caps out here, so it must nearly be time for Happy Hour back as Mussent Point.
The eagles never sleep. That one's just taken off from one of our trees.
But his (her) buddy (or mate) is still there. Always serious, always vigilant. Deservedly our national symbol. Quick to spot that old dead fish out there on the water.
A fine place to relax by the lakeside. Unless the dock folds up.
Baby Leigh, our favorite island on the lake. 'NO CAMPING', by order of the state authorities.
It's very like a green overgrown pirate ship (except that it can't move, and there aren't any pirates; at the moment).
Returning back up to the main lake in the late afternoon
Cousin Rob's had a call from a lake resident, asking his advice on whether anything can be done to rehabilitate their canoe. We're here to investigate, and assess.
Eerrrm . . . Parked under a dead tree, was it then?
Better to think towards the future.
Somebody's been out here piling up rock cairns on a little local reef. Not an easy job.
Just a relaxing amusement. Unless there's some kind of ancient ritual involved -- sighting up the solstice, diagnosing weird illnesses, dancing round them, etc.
Choupette's waiting for us to try to get back to our book. (That's Philippa of Hainault: mother of the English nation, 2022, Choupette would be meowingly bored.)
Always active, energetically investigative ('Investigative' killed the cat, they say).
Never leave your car window open without looking round for Choupette lurking.
The reading room. No cats for the moment.
But here they are to welcome us back from our afternoon's hydrobiking.
More bouncing about in the 'fetch'
Sprinting for the lee of Adjidaumo island
All's squawky in the eagle's nest, and . . .
. . . the older juvenile is patroling in circles overhead.
The pedalboarders are heading south on the far side of the lake . . .
. . . and then, in the fullness of time, returning up on this side, in lively conversation.
Veteran pedalboarders don't even notice choppy waves.
They just splash right through them.
Passing Adjidaumo, another day, and . . .
. . . observing the persistent work of the woodpeckers.
The paranoid juvenile again, circling protectively over the nest
One of the eagles was recently seen apparently attacking a loon, which promptly dove. It turned out (photographs revealed), the vile beast was actually stealing the loon's newly snagged fish, with which it flapped away into the trees.
Carried it back for the little ones perhaps
More coordinated hunting (in kindly Melvin's case, just for bugs; in Choupette's, cute little mammals)
Coordinated nap time
Waiting patiently to be let into the cottage for a snack
Sharing the nightwatch duties
The Lake in the Northwoods
The lake at a glance. Mussent Point is at the red dot, no. 12.
Next page: Miscellaneous views on the lake, late August 2022