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.
memorializing 8 to 15 July 2021, for the archives
We're off on an early morning eagle recce, 8 July 2021, before we let the cats out. The vile things often lurk in the treetops.
Melvin dashes to one of his favorite bug-watching posts.
That's the vestige of an ancient, long disused dock in front of the cottage near the end of Mussent Point.
And here's a vestige of some of last summer's tree damage, slightly sorted out with a chainsaw for aesthetic reasons.
Some of its neighboring colleagues may be following it into the soup in the not far distant future.
The water is exceptionally clear this summer, though the lake bottom is still not very clear.
The end of Mussent Point per se, with the last of the dying tag alders, which found the recently higher water levels in the lake . . . insalubrious.
Musset Point itself, end on, shrouded by dead tag alders and lots of perennial vegetation for fouling propellers with.
Just off the Point, an abandoned, stripped down, junior catamaran
No one has used it for many years, but annually it's posted out there as a kind of buoy to keep jet skis, speedboats, and waterskiers from coming in too close to our length of shoreline. Canoes, kayaks, paddle- and pedalboards are welcome.
We're told that that's an old, and old-fashioned, 'fish crib', to provide habitat for fish and attract them for the fisherpeople. It seems that cribs with more complicated tanglings of old vegetation are preferred these days (and we accept that as true on faith). It's seldom so clearly seen from the surface.
-- Who are you to tell me what to do?!? -- But it's for your own good, Choupie.
An afternoon nap
A solo loon hooting along off Stephanie's and Tommy's boathouse, whilst . . .
. . . Stephanie and Kristin are off on their pedalboards. (That's not actually taken on the same day.)
The lakeshore vandals are having their own kind of fun.
Cousin Rob is pursuing his Secchi Disk researches, 9 July, in the deepest part of the lake, at 30 feet.
The Secchi Disk measures the lake's turbidity, or the clarity of the water -- when you can't see it anymore, you wind it up again and jot down the result. Today it's at 20 feet, remarkably clear water even after the 4th of July crowds have done their worst.
For the first time in a decade, the resident loons have come up with at least one chick, and in fact everyone believes they've seen not one, but two. Why the proud parents have been parading the little loon-tykes up and down the length of the lake, every day, in full view of eagles, muskies, etc., escapes explanation.
So we're all devoted to checking up on them frequently, and yes, they're both still there.
A green stowaway
Another shoreline assassin -- the 'wake boats' artifically produce much larger wakes by including extendable fins at the stern and (we've been informed) a reversible scoop underneath that can take in water to settle the boat farther down and produce a higher wave, then flush it out again when the playtime's over.
The point of the sport is that the thoughtless chap can ride a 'wakeboard' instead of waterskis and dispense with being hauled along by a line. He can create the feeling of actually surfing, and the lake shores can be undercut by about four inches every day that he's enjoying his sport, while he's . . .
. . . shouting to his friend to get a good video of him for the social media. Imagine when that wave hits the shore.
Yep, both the chicks are still there, 10 July 2021.
And they're already getting bigger.
A mushroom hunt. For chanterelles, mostly, or whatever else is edible. Rob and Elke (the master mushroom pasta chef) are knowledgeable and vigilant.
Pickings have been slim this summer, for reasons unknown, but sometimes mere persistence pays off.
But now there seems to have been sighting -- Elke's ashore and apparently having some luck, and soon . . .
. . . needs to be met at the next station.
Still, the crop's a bit thin this year, or just a bit late.
Elke and Rob heading home after the afternoon's hunt
The early morning view of the lake, 10 July 2021 (a stillness I don't often witness)
Melvin the Doge and little Choupette are processing along the dock, hesitantly but of their own volition, to see what it's all about. Neither is fond of water at all, to be honest.
Having got this far out, they're probably wondering if it's a good idea at all.
Back on terra firma, they can check out the safer surroundings . . .
. .. . and congratulate each other on their bravery.
On the 12th of July, Cousin Rob's here to pick us up for a mushroom hunt round our northern end of the lake.
Whilst we're awaiting him in his labors, we're wondering if this is a good time to try to drive the hydrobike right into the middle of the over-vegetated so-called 'Frog Bay'. But we've tried it before, and got fatally dispropellered half a meter into the tangle. Canoes are preferred.
That nasty old tree was once big, fat, and proud, but rotten through and through, when it collapsed into Frog Bay about ten years ago.
The 14th of July, and loon chicks are alive and flourishing.
And, even with an audience, they seem to be practicing diving, with parental supervision.
A new meaningful sort of flag, the meaning of which some of us are not yet sure about.
Some of George's gardening efforts around Mussent Point
Mostly round the sides of Kristin's cottage
Like those as well
Later on the 14th, still another late afternoon thunderstorm that makes the cats edgy, very edgy.
No gambolling about in the sunshine this afternoon
If they spoke better English, we could explain to them and calm their fears, but nothing works (and, besides, Melvin is French).
We even tried providing Melvin with an improving book to pass his time with. Nothing worked.
It's another lost day for hydrobiking or sunning oneself on the dock.
At this rate, someone's going to have to open up the spillway for a while to avoid catastrophic flooding.
(Fair enough, that's probably overstated.)
'Rain, rain, go away / come again . . . sometime next month'
A sneak attack . . . this time, it didn't work.
But the lurking Choupette can be very patient, and dedicated.
Someone should warn Melvin that it's another trap.
The mushroom hunt continues unabated, 15 July 2021.
A few small scores, but generally disappointing
Hardly worth it
The photographer occupies his time during the hunt by dismounting and having a little paddle in the lake.
Not another faceoff!
Melvin is prepared, and Choupette backs off, abruptly.
And now they're friends again, and will go exploring in the woods as usual.