Greetings from the North Woods!
It’s been raining off and on today – it rains a little and then the sun comes out, and that pattern has repeated itself several times. When Bill and I thought all had fallen, we went for a kayak paddle across the lake into an area called Pug Hole, a relatively narrow part of the lake behind a jutting finger of land, with a few camps and a reputation for good small-mouth bass fishing. In fact, Bill saw a 14-incher and a lot of little ones as he skimmed along. Given that it is Thursday and early in the season, we saw no other humans on land or lake nor boats in the water.
There were lots of dragonflies – our friends – one landing on the top of Bill’s cap, another on the front of my kayak. They accompany us because they know that we attract their food supply (mosquitos, black flies, etc. of which we saw few), and we won’t hurt them. There were also a bevy of turtles of various sizes sunning themselves on the fallen logs at water’s edge. Vegetation included flowering water lilies, bushes with pink flowers, and one with white multi-headed flowers which might be honeysuckle(?) A beaver lodge, haphazardly constructed, remained up against the shore, perhaps still occupied, but Bill remembered the time when a beaver darted out and slapped his tail at him. It’s hard to imagine a “home” with a cavity big enough for numerous family members under that pile of sticks and mud. According to one article, the lodge has underwater entrances (usually two) and an air vent on the top; the chamber is bi-level with the feeding and drying area separate from the bedding area.
We may have thought the rain had ended, but not so. We got caught in a shower on the way back across, thankfully not a thundershower! What was so special, however, as we were low to the water in our kayaks, was seeing the individual drops fall into the lake, from 2” to 15” apart from each other, and making a splash rising up a couple of inches, like a ballet of rain drops rising and falling around us. Really neat! Of course, the rain stopped just as we reached our home shore where we could come in and get dry clothes.
With Bill's sister going into a facility for memory issues -- she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's -- and our related trips back and forth to NYC, it’s a different summer, but one not devoid of joys. We will join 2 other couples on the lake tomorrow night for a pot-luck dinner; one boat is in the water and took us to the far end of the lake last Saturday for a picnic on the sand beach; the kayaks, both motorbikes, and the 4-wheeler have had outings; our asparagus, mostly gone to ferns before our arrival, has allowed us a few spears; the beans, basil and lettuce are up in the garden; the strawberry patch has some green berries coming along; and the grape tomato, bought as a plant, has little green tomatoes emerging. And the mascots of the lake – the loons -- are wonderful as always!