Dwight Peck's personal website

The USA in the year of Climate Change

More lakeside fun in the Northwoods

Brief adventures at the southern end of the state

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.

They said it was all a hoax (well, Inhofe did). In the spring and summer of 2012, American climate "skeptics" got a straightforward slap of reality -- 80°F in northern Wisconsin in March, months of >100°F all over the country, and the worst and longest drought ever.

Two small parts of the USA were largely spared the terrible drought -- Seattle, Washington, of course, and the Wisconsin Northwoods.

We spent early July in Bucharest, Romania, locked in a cubicle in the Palace of the Parliament for two weeks of 36-40°C (97-104°F) -- that's all here -- and now we're ready for a break.

Back in Switzerland, it's nearly as hot here -- Down Tools!

The American Players Theatre, Spring Green, Wisconsin

Kristin and David are filing into the APT's Up-The-Hill theatre (in 90+°F), late July 2012, for a brilliant production of Twelfth Night.
It's a difficult play to stage without making the treatment of Malvolio seem mean-spirited (we don't have the same automatic aversion to "Puritans"), and the wonderfully comic performance of a black actor as Malvolio unfortunately made that treatment seem even more unfair and discriminatory.

The versatile stage setting for Twelfth Night

The Up-The-Hill theatre is filling up; we were in the first row. No photos were allowed of the performance (fair enough).

David is kindly putting us up at the Edenfred artist-in-residence house in Madison.

It's hard ever to pass up a Culver's, with its legendary butterburger, and this one, in Sauk City, turned out to be the mother-ship, Culver's Number One (1984). Kristin found the very large hibiscus worth recording.

Devil's Lake State Park

Devil's Lake near Baraboo is meant to be a fine walk, and here we go.

We're up the 150m quartzite bluffs that surround the lake, looking back towards the north end of the lake.

A quick circuit of the state park

The visitor's centre and campground at the north end; there's another at the southern end.

That's 1.6 billion years old quartzite. And Kristin.

Admonishing the stragglers

The southern end of the eastern side and time to start down. Towards "the balancing rock".

Big scree fields, with helpful stairways carefully built in

It's like an elegant backyard garden, but much bigger.

The balancing rock

The beach and campground at the southern end of Devil's Lake

A pause

The balancing rock, again

The eastern bluff from the west side of the lake

Back to the car and preparing now for Parfrey's Glen

Parfrey's Glen, a few miles to the east of Devil's Lake, is Wisconsin's first state natural area. The short walk starts off unassumingly.

And then begins to become more interesting.

And then people begin to disappear into the Unknown.

Probably different during the spring melt

The end of the good stuff, just forests at the farther side

We've seen what we came for, so we're turning back now.

And we're not alone.

Brennan's in Madison: a warehouse filled with fresh produce; I was passing quickly through to the next room, a warehouse filled with beer and cheese.

We're back at Edenfred, luxuriating in David's hospitality again.

An elegant rich person's mansion from the early 1900s, now with neat art all over the walls.

We're leaving Madison but felt the need to stop briefly for a blessing.

An American shrine ("See me for cash.")

The International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin

Kristin loves nothing so much as a crane. Except a kitty, or a marmot. Or a donkey. Or an owl, or especially a squirrel. And sheep.

This has got to be done!

-- Oh, help! Help!

The International Crane Foundation runs important programmes all over the world, frequently at internationally important flyway wetland habitats that are listed under the Ramsar Convention -- and I was annoyed when I saw no mention of Ramsar amongst the ICF facilities. Luckily, I didn't make a row about it.

We joined up and took the ICF magazine (The Bugle, PDF) with us, and I looked at it a week later: the cover story was about the Foundation's collaboration with Ramsar.

Kristin speaks crane language but this chap is not communicative today.

I was seeking to buy a little memory stick and ended up having to hire a guide.

Wausau, Wisconsin

Wausau, Wisconsin, where Kristin grew up (as it were) and where she has some business tomorrow, so we're in the quite satisfactory Jefferson Street Inn.

Catching up on presidential campaign gaffes before dinner

Downtown Wausau, with its spacious park


And more Wausau

Wausau on the Wisconsin River

An Early Reader

We're loping past the Episcopal Church of (who else?) St John the Baptist. We'll stop in.

Separation of church and state is all to the good, but why take the chance of NOT displaying your American flag prominently?

Kristin's seeking Singles.

Chartres it is not, but it was donated by Kristin's ancestors.

"That's very generous, thank you! In fact, I'll take the lot then."

Bye to Wausau for the moment.

Back home, to a goose invasion

They're swarming the trampoline.

They're rounding the trampoline and filing off into the lake

Rounding the trampoline

An aerial view of the lake

Bob's funeral

Cap'n Bob is being laid to rest.

Suitable Victorian poetry

A chorus of suitable Victorian poetry

Bob (the cat with the bob tail) invaded our house in Trélex in 1997 and decided to stay on, with attitude. But he finally ran out of helpful medical interventions and has gone away now.

Kristin does the honors.

Summer in Wisconsin, 2012

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 October 2012.


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