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.
Cats still on the lake (and an unexcitable deer in the canal)
Cats (Choupette & Pugsley) positioning for the evening's Greenies handout
Oscar joins our hydrobike patrols, with one of Rob's small fleet, early July 2023
At our hydrobike beaching cove, the weather's coming in, 8 July 2023 . . .
. . . bringing knock-you-down torrential rains and a bit of hail.
Melvin does not wish to be disturbed.
Assigning roles in today's assault on the bugs in the grass
Sleep can come upon us anywhere, even on a FunShip.
Thunder- and hailstorm, 10 July 2023
An iced up trampoline
Ice all over the grounds, at 84°F
Choupette always on the qui vive
Melvin, on the other hand, awaits our reading-and-cat-petting session getting under way.
Choupette recognizes a backyard grill as an object of potentially great interest.
-- But how do we open it?
Choupette is staking out a back porch tree known to harbor chipmunks round its roots.
They're too smart for her this time, but not always.
Cousin Rob joins us back on the lake at last.
Coupette frequently performs antics that no one can pretend to understand.
A hastily agreed plan for whatever may come next
A quick scouting mission to the Adjidaumo island, more or less below the venerable eagles' nest that may be deserted this year.
Melvin started out in the cosy little bed, but Choupette prevailed as always.
Something potentially sneaky has been detected in the underbrush.
The stakeout (all in vain . . . thank whatever gods may be). Even Melvin's been
picking up some of Choupette's predatory instinct. Difficult, but necessary, to forgive.
Apprentice predators or not, they're still very cute when they're sleeping.
That's apparently a 3,000 year old Celtic 'lake shrine' (the mysterious work of northern Wisconsin Druids).
In the Northwoods, the swamps are seldom far off. Ominous clouds are forming.
A very choppy day on the lake. (This turned out to be a 1.2 mile's exhausting but fun bouncey pedal.)
Tied up for the night in the hydrobike cove by the boathouse
-- So what's on for today?
-- Not much; maybe a few bugs and a nap.
One of the huge submerged erratic boulders, scarred all over the top of it by generations of boat propellers.
It's just off the side of what the map below calls 'Beaver Island' but is referred to locally as Ryden's, after the owner, a marine outfitting company in town that we're told stores lakedwellers' docks and shore stations on the island over the winter.
The original dock has clearly outlived its usefulness.
The picnic table looks inviting, but there is a bold new 'No Trespassing' sign up this summer, so we law-abiding citizens must forbear.
Ryden's Island, when the lake level is low, is not an island. On good years, we call that the 'Crossing of the Bar' and compete to get the hydrobikes across it without foundering and having to climb off for a big push.
The advent of sleep can't always be predicted precisely.
Cousin Rob views another ex-dock and another huge erratic boulder, probably the biggest one on the lake.
Mussent Point on still another clouded-over afternoon
Another visit to the crescent cove on Adjidaumo, looking for occupants of the venerable eagles' nest the size of a small Volkswagen.
There's no getting in under the nest this way. There are two access points on the far side of the island, but . . .
. . . with the wind coming up, we'll come back another day, assuming that . . .
. . . the bike doesn't get blown away today.
We're on our way to the canal -- today's the day to try for the second half to the next lake. It's been increasingly choked up by falling débris over the past few years.
The sign, newly replaced this year, directs the 'Jokers' one way, the 'Clowns' the other, and is enigmatic. Probably something to do with one of the summer camps' games.
The entire canal is over 700m (2352 ft) long to the next lake, but the 180m first half to the mid-lake is easy going.
Sneaking up on one of the locals
Sauntering off gracefully, self-confidently (it's out of season, no worries)
The end of the first half of the canal
Our new sort-of-friend hasn't retreated very far off.
The mid-lake, no longer in the best of health
Amongst all of the arboreal decrepitude, we're looking for signs of the dreaded invasive weed, the purple loosestrife. Only one in here at the moment, but they're beginning to pop up all round the lake now in isolated patches.
Here's Cousin Rob with a triumphant loosestrife extraction in 2021.
At the east end of the 150m-long mid-lake, that's the entrance to the 400m second half of the canal.
A culvert under the road
The canal was built back in about the 1890s to float logs over to the sawmill on our lake. It's been filling up since then, particularly over the past 25 years or so.
Kayaks can still wiggle their way through, but the hydrobikes can't pass tree-falls like that one without periodic remedial attentions with a saw. We don't happen to have a saw today -- this is just a reconnaissance mission -- so now we need to turn about and go back.
Turning a hydrobike around amongst all this impedimenta is very nearly impossible.
We may have to give up, get off our vehicles and walk out. But . . .
Luckily, we're about to figuratively limp out again. Under the culvert.
And back out to Tomahawk Bay
There's a glorious 450hp outboard on a triple-pontoon floatboat. (The pontoon boat at Mussent Point is a 25hp and quite adequate.)
A ghostly reticulation briefly blocks our progress.
Erratic boulders all along the shore round here
With trees apparently growing out of them, and a sadly undercut shoreline
A hydrobiker going off his own way at the end of the day
Another informal census of the recent proliferations of unwelcome vegetation
Company in Tomahawk Bay
A conference with another lakedweller whose summer hobby is patrolling the lake bottom for items of rubbish and diving down to haul them out (note the flippers)
The Tigertail, the most scenic bit of the lake's topography
A painting in the cottage
The Lake in Wisconsin
Mussent Point is at the red dot.
Next up: A few slightly exciting events, and the cats again