Dwight Peck's personal website

Summer 2021

A photographic record of whatever leapt out at us

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.

Duck parades, shoreline protection, and belated loosestrifing

memorializing 20 to 28 July 2021, for the archives

The quiet northwestern cove at the far end of the lake, past Mussent Point (20 July 2021)

In the quiet northwestern cove, undeveloped, with nearly as much vegetation in the water as on land

There's a muskrat's house in there somewhere, but he's very shy.

That's the centre point of the north end of the lake, where somebody's stately pleasure-dome has been decreed, with lots of mechanized water toys.

Rounding the point into the northeastern cove, we've nearly run over a small duck parade.

Mom and now six apprentice ducks, grouped up and rerouting out of our path.

Sheepdog tactics, Mom's herding the flock along, keeping them all together.

We're probably just making them nervous; it's time to back off.

Looking out of the northeastern cove, which is much less undeveloped; in fact, there are said to be a couple of million-dollar pleasure-domes up behind those docks, perhaps multiples of that.

And more performative patriotism up at this end of the lake

Farther down the west side of the lake, there's another duck parade, in disarray.

Once the formation is disrupted, it's hard to get things organized again.

But this mom knows the drill, and it's all beginning to come together.

So the parade resumes.

Twelve troopers in this parade, not counting the drill sergeant

A wake boat. Let's not throw words like 'unconscionable villains' around too loosely. But here we've got one of several so-called 'wake boats' recently present on the lake -- this fancy piece of indulgence has two side fins, usually an underwater ballast adjuster to make the beast sit lower in the water, racks for the 'wake boards' mounted on the sides, and audio speakers on the roll bar so that everyone on the lake can benefit from your peculiar taste in music at full volume.

All to create an artificial Hawaian surfing sensation behind the boat and erode people's shorelines until their trees, and eventually their cottages, fall into the lake.

What's worse is that they may have no idea at all about what's wrong with all this havoc. Conservation organizations and lake associations all over the state are wrangling with how to combat the menace these people have brought to us (and the property values).

Here's what the beasts look like in action, from a few days ago.

Farther down the lake, a few days later, still another parade

Hooded mergansers, 14 or 15 in this lot, similarly taking evasive action

Dashing out into open water

It's hard to speculate about what they're thinking now. Maybe nothing.

Shoreline protection. Forget the cute ducks: just to our left, there is a point that juts out into the passage through to Tomahawk Bay on the eastern side of the lake. Here's one of the two cottages on this side of the point, nicely shored up on this side, and it's got what looks like a sea-going dump truck tied up to the dock.

And around the far side of the point, in Tomahawk Bay, the same owner is protecting his other shoreline from erosion with a fine new load of 'riprap', rocks piled along the banks to break up the unwelcome waves.

The boat house and two shore stations are part of the same property, and the riprap constructions continue.

The two shirtless young men behind that leaning tree are lunking those piles of rock into neat shoreline protections. They told us that it was 'good exercise', with an ironic grimace, but one added that he would be hurting tomorrow. [The next day, they were back to complete the job. Maybe hurting.]

This third cottage on the point was purchased by the owner of the previous house and boathouse, lest there be too many neighbors nearby, and this slope was clear-cut for the view (boo!). The shoreline protections continue -- we reckon that this is a more than 200 meter (650 foot) job of work.

Here comes the dump truck around the end of the point. Low in the water.

Presumably, the skipper knows what he's doing. It looks pretty close to swamping.

Passing the first stations, towards the second lot . . .

. . . and dumping. Those poor but muscular young men have a long stretch of shoreline still to pile rocks on.

It must have been a minor challenge to get that monster down the public landing into the lake.

Coming round the point again, approaching the 'no wake' buoy. VERY low in the water.

The riprap will help protect against the giant waves of the wake boats, but it might be very inconvenient if any wake boats were to come along now.

We'll pedal madly back around the point to watch him load up again.

Back on the main lake side of the property, the skipper's colleague is idling.

The mechanical arm is good for two things: loading the rocks into the barge with a hideous clamor, and whacking it back off the shore into deeper water when it's been overloaded.

We'll have a follow-up on this riprap saga in a few days, promise.

Melvin the Doge in his meditations . . .

. . . and the catamaran buoy.

That little structure looks a wreck, but Melvin loves it.

Natural riprap around Chase Island in the south -- all the earth has been washed out of the shoreline.

So what happens next?

Well, the trees fall into the lake, for starters.

A few more on the way back there

A mystery canoe in South Bay -- no human habitations anywhere nearby

The woodpeckers' amusement park

It's past time for some loosestrifing -- it's got to be pulled out each summer or it will take over the lake and everything will become extinct, maybe us too.

The dreaded Purple Loosestrife -- 'Blutweiderich, purple loosestrife, rainbow weed, salicaire pourpre, spiked loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)', the world's 50th most awful Worst Invasive Alien Species in 2021 (according to the Global Invasive Species Database, by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group).

Get them into the plastic bags before they get organized. This is only the beginning; there's lots still to be done (every shoreline on the lake, in fact).

Undercut shoreline

And more trees that couldn't hold out

A look round to see what was making the appalling racket on the tin roof most of last night, 27 July 2021

Okay. They sounded much bigger than that when they hit the roof -- we were headed for the cellar, but there isn't a cellar.

We feel silly now; many people have suffered worse storms than that one.

But at least we can mention that thing at our next cocktail party.

A quaint little boathouse in a quiet nook just south of Mussent Point -- apparently long disused.

It might make a fine temporary hideout, if one were ever needed.

The Crossing of the Bar -- not this time. An utter failure. It can't be done facing into a headwind, that should have been obvious.

The Lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods

Mussent Point is at no. 12.

Next up: Lake Superior: cats take the eroded beach challenge

Summer 2021

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 23 August 2021.


Wisconsin Northwoods,
June-Oct 2021

Wisconsin Northwoods,
June-Oct 2020

Wisconsin Northwoods,
June-Sept 2019

Virginia and Wisconsin, July-Sept 2018

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2017

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2016

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2015

Wisconsin & road trip, July-Sept 2014

Wisconsin & Virginia, July-Sept 2013

Wisconsin on the lake, July-Sept 2012

Wisconsin 'Northwoods', June-Aug. 2011

Wisconsin on the lake, July-August 2010

August 2009

Boston and Maine, 2007

Marlowe's wedding, 2006

Olympic National Park, 2004