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.
Wasped half to death on Adjidaumo and stuck once again in the canal
(including some cat pix)
Full moon on the lake, oh wow
Summiting on Adjidaumo
Bouncey waves on the lake as we set bravely off to climb to the top of the Isle of Adjidaumo (1 September 2023, for the record book)
We slip in over the northeast reef -- in the old days (1890s+), the sawmill boss had a couple of trails to the family cabin at the summit facing the sawmill at Point o' Pines, but this trail is the only one that hasn't pretty much disappeared with time.
Here we are. A fallen tree has cut this route off for some years, but we're keen to have a go at it anyway. That hole in the shorebank belongs to an otter or muskrat or something worse that just dashed out in front of us and squirmed into its den.
We're scrambling up the bank now, and preparing to step onto that fallen tree, but . . .
. . . it was a horrible mistake, since our foot collapsed into a vile hornet's nest and freaked out a regiment of hornets set upon revenge. This photo was snapped in haste occasioned by terror, and we caught eight potentially lethal stings as we set off up the hill at a running pace we haven't achieved since college days.
Despite a small amount of hyperbole there, mere seconds later we find ourselves hornet-free and aware that we've escaped a horrible fate under a cloud of demoniac poisonous agents of the devil.
A biologist officemate once explained that horrible insects, including flies when we were pumping our labored way up a long hill in the Jura on mountain bikes, flock to black things like wrist watches and, as in this case, black wraparound sunglasses. Two minutes after this unprovoked assault we've got upper cheek bones bulging out like throbbing balloons.
Here's the old path, not much to look at now, but better than the alternatives. Except for the wasps.
Nearly there now
From about 1890, there was a cabin here at the island's high point, built by the owner of the new sawmill whilst his permanent home was being built directly across the water at Point o' Pines.
No one seems to know what happened to that cabin, and all that remains is what might have been an outdoor grill sort of thing.
We've actually come to get a closer look at the eagle's nest overlooking the other end of the island; access across the centre of the island is tangly and not straightforward.
Here we turn in and look up.
We're in the right area but not finding the right tree.
That's it -- not easy to see from here, but . . .
. . . it's still here. No signs of life at the moment. Since the new eagles' nest appeared above the southern shore of the Tigertail, there's been a question about whether that's a new family or simply the existing family moving house, though earlier in the summer there were a few reports of sightings here.
Nothing today though. Now we need to get down out of here -- without reliving our hornet fiasco.
But is there another feasible way down? In our hydrobiking sandals?
We're ruling the south side out, and just scrambling about in the foliage to the east.
'Bushwhacking' is probably not the right word for this, in the absence of bushes, but it's still awkward enough.
Now a bit of bushwhacking, and at last we're back on the lakeside . . .
. . . but we've got about 200 feet of wading for getting on with.
Dead and dying tag alders trying to trip us up.
We're sneaking up very very quietly, so as not to announce ourselves to any miscreants still staking out the bike.
No signs of insect life, no angry buzzing, or shouted threats. We'll need to untie the mooring rope in a stealthy manner, and be prepared to dash away if necessary.
Now we vacate the territory as quickly as we can . . .
. . . pedaling probably faster than we have in years.
A look back at Adjidaumo from a safe distance -- the vicious bugs are nested on the far side. Our pulse rate is beginning to subside.
Another Friday night fish fry at Preuss's Pub on Little Muskie Lake in Woodruff, WI.
Joellen waiting for our menus
The little sign says 'No Waitress On Duty' but it always says that, and it's not always true.
It's what they do best . . .
. . . each in his or her own way.
That's the new eagles' nest on the southern side of the Tigertail peninsula; there's no zoom on this antiquated iPhone8 camera, but . . .
. . . here's a grainy vision of what it looks like. We've seen some of its residents a few times, a juvenile poking a head up, an adult sitting regally on the branch, and once two adults flying in to take up positions nearby.
Following our eagles' nest peeking, we pass Pink Island over its sandbar to Tigertail, and . . .
. . . stop briefly to admire the scenery.
There appear to be no tolerance in our unit for stragglers today, so -- allons y.
Just north of Point o' Pines we're passing Gail and Dave's house, hoping for our almost daily Dave Wave if we're not too early this afternoon.
From Dave's point, we're only about 600m up 'North Bay' to Mussent Point and . . .
. . . Kristin's cottage, and a shower after some healthful exercise on the water.
The joys of sitting out on the lawn by the lake on a fine day, but . . . reading's more difficult when the cats want in on it.
More arboreal casualties. Some people find these tangled wrecks fairly fascinating.
Another unfortunate moment in the Tomahawk Bay Canal
Back into the canal, and another try at getting through the second part of it. 4 September 2023
The mid-lake, sometimes called the Mirror Lake for obvious reasons
The stragglers in our party are catching up.
Now . . . grasping the nettle: into the second part of the canal. We're hoping that someone has cleared out some of the obstructions since we haven't got round to it ourselves.
So far so good, but this proves nothing. Last time we were stymied somewhat farther along.
Not looking good
A saw would have been helpful here, but there's no removing this stuff without one.
There's no help for it -- we begin the ten minute dance of trying to turn a hydrobike round with 8 inches of muddy canal banks on either side of it.
Peddling backwards is fairly impossible, with all the submerged threats -- the propellers are protected from damage from the front but not from the rear. Dismounting and walking home is not a palatable option.
There's a very old path just over there, but by trying to get to it we might sink out of sight in the horrible muck.
We're finally back out to the mid-lake -- this is how far the water level has dropped over the summer, by normal evaporation or perhaps by some evildoer lowering the spillway boards for self-interested reasons of his own.
The lake is probably 6 or 8 inches down, perhaps more.
This odd scene, out on the main lake along 'Sandy Beach Bay' ('Manila Bay' on the map below), has been described to us as an artifact of the ice buildup on the lake receding in the springtime.
It's a long strip, perhaps about 400 feet along the shore line, with . . .
. . . a strip of swampiness right behind it, bordered by . . .
. . . the hillside running up through the forest.
The morainy sort of thing on the shoreline
A glance out at the main lake
Our party is indulging us patiently as we poke about here . . .
. . . so we'll resume our interrupted shoreline patrol. We're still looking for chanterelle mushrooms, though virtually none have shown up all summer, and for the dreaded purple loosestrife, which has already blossomed and sent out its millions of tiny progeny to infect the lake even more next year. Normally we yank it out wherever we find it, but this summer it slipped our minds.
The Lake in Wisconsin
Mussent Point is at the red dot.
Next up: An exploration of the mysterious creek, & some other end-of-season odds and ends
Memorializing puffy hornet damage