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.
An exploration of the mysterious creek, & some other end-of-season odds and ends
Hurtling past Baby Leigh, early September 2023
Focusing on the prow end of it this time
That's sort of the bowsprit
Baby Leigh, state property for many years allegedly because someone forget to pay the property taxes on it, is only 100 feet long and probably six feet wide, covered in rocks and tangly trees, but there is a very old sign on it prohibiting camping.
Something has caught the cats' attention.
Choupette is scowling.
Melvin is scowling. (They don't appreciate being disturbed.)
We're stopping by Stephanie's dock to say hello.
Those look very like a flock of audio speakers. Perhaps for ensuring that everyone on the lake gets to listen to your favorite music.
Flamboyant patriotism. (The white boat on the lift is a beautiful replica dory, seen on the lift here for several summers but only once, last week, seen being rowed along the shoreline.)
A duel of flags
More and more creeping vegetation on the surface every year, and even more spreading under it.
Still wondering who ran up the Union Jack on our dock
It's been the choppiest summer in memory, mostly from winds from the north, also some from the south and from the west.
Today it's from the north. That's Adjidaumo at the upper mid-lake.
At the end of the afternoon's float, Cousin Rob splits off for home.
The boathouse from the point of Mussent Point
The water level -- the hydrobike's essentially in drydock now. Melvin may contemplating joining us but . . .
. . . he'd always rather just watch.
Thinking 'bon voyage' in cat talk, and . . .
. . . pausing for a drink.
Exploring the mysterious creek
That's the mouth of an overgrown little creek coming out from a pond about 200m (660 ft) back in the swamps -- we've been wondering about it for years, and forever planning to explore it and forever putting it off.
Rob recalls when many years ago there was a carriage track down from the headland on the right and up to the one on the left, with a small bridge over the creek, but all that's lost in the mists of time now.
Last year we came upon two ladies who'd had a go at it, but had no luck at all and (somehow) turned their kayaks around and escaped.
-- 7 September 2022: Two intrepid ladies in kayaks, who (to our vast relief) report that they didn't get very far up the creek before getting fouled up in vegetation and blocked by fallen trees. [We'll come better prepared -- someday.] [Maybe with explosives] --
Now, however, Tracy Hames, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, has offered to come up and help Rob explore the thing with a canoe and to assess the wetland here for himself.
Tracy and his staff have organized a nearly annual series of study trips for us to Ramsar Wetlands of International Important all round Wisconsin -- this one, in which Tracy is wearing a baseball cap and gripping a 15mph sign, is from an excursion in 2015 to the new Ramsar Site on the Door Peninsula north of Green Bay.
Here's the Google Maps version of the creek out to Tomahawk Bay and the pond in question. Only 200m between bay and pond, this ought to be a piece of cake. So let's go.
That is, 'let's go' for Tracy and Rob, and the rest of us will struggle along on the nearby headland and see if we can watch the show from here. We've towed a canoe behind the pontoon boat a mile or so over from Mussent Point, and they're somewhere down there in it now.
This is ridiculous, we can't see anything.
Wait, there's Rob hat! Kristin's headed farther along to get a glimpse of the pond itself if possible.
They're still in sight, and . . .
. . . now we can glimpse Tracy as well.
Oh no, now they've abandoned the canoe. Good luck!
A faint blur, they're still moving. We can faintly see the pond itself on the far right, they're nearly there.
After all these years, Cousin Rob's finally made it through (photo by Tracy). Now let's see if they can get back out of there.
That's a Google Maps version of the route. The black dots on the left are along the headland from which we were trying to follow along.
Down to the shore now, to see if they make it out.
Somebody's coming out, anyway, and . . .
. . . yes, it's them! Squishing through all the vegetation . . .
. . . and out into open water.
Mission accomplished. Tracy says that he never goes anywhere without those hip waders in the boot of his car.
Another day, we're looking for the loons' nest said to have been on Baby Leigh again this year. They've left the nest weeks ago, but we'd like see where they'd settled this year.
But there's no sign of it.
Our little predator in the family has been distressingly successful lately, and it looks like we've just discovered her secret.
Any manner of small pests can have been sneaking in and out of that hole; she had but to wait patiently, then pounce. ('Nature red in tooth and claw')
11 September 2023, nearly the end for us this year -- we'll have a little look in on Ryden's island ('Beaver Island' on the map below) . . .
. . . and snap a few pictures, despite . . .
. . . the new No Trespassing sign. We'll be quick and furtive, and . . .
. . . we'll be sure not to trust that ex-dock.
There's nothing on the little island (only 55m long) but the picnic table and a homemade campfire, with a rake thoughtfully placed for clearing away the pine needles.
Looking south down the lake towards the highway bridge a kilometre away
And 75m (245 ft) across to the mainland on the northern stretch of the Tigertail
We'll be on our way now (before we're spotted).
That's the rocky bar that connects the island to the mainland -- if the lake level drops any more, it won't be an island anymore. (A decade ago that was sadly the case for a few years.)
Choupette pretending to be asleep
It's getting to be packing up time, and there's one hefty box of books ready for the post.
Printer, second screen, spare printer ink, other odds and ends will go into insulated storage here on the property, so we won't have to buy new stuff next summer. This cottage will be entirely shut down soon after we leave.
More destructive wonders of nature, and . . .
. . . some of the proliferation of underwater propeller grabbers all round the lake.
Luckily we noticed it just in time and took precautions.
Before we leave, another look at the new eagles' nest.
The Lake in Wisconsin
Mussent Point is at the red dot.
Next up: The last of this year's fun on the lake, and some shots of Wausau, WI