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.

Lake Superior: Beach art, and a look at the Porkies

memorializing 30 July to 2 August 2021, for posterity

As intimated previously, we are compellingly motivated to stumble a little awkwardly westward down this beach (towards Ontonagon, MI, sticking out on the horizon)(but not that far) to take some sort of artistic photographs of the havoc that this lake has caused for no good reason. (31 July 2021)

A polished cow's skull, at first glance, but upon examination, not that.

When walking along this beach a little each summer, we occasionally dodge around medium- to small-sized wood things bouncing in the waves, trying to get planted up on the beach. But how these monsters got here onto our beach is something we never want to witness in person.

The resemblance to skeletal parts, as seen on British forensic police shows, can sometimes be uncanny, but worth a look.

We're incrementally being carved out of cottage and home. Escarpments piled one above another.

Like a sci-fi Galaxy Fighter ship (missed the Death Star and got stuck here)

A misplaced mummy, or a truly giant Italian sausage

A cottage under siege. (We spoke with one of the owners last summer, and she was distraught.)

There but for the grace of Whomever go we all, and probably will soon enough.

From a distance, this looked like something pretty special . . .

. . . and clearly it is.

Our beach back up the shore is suffering incremental losses, but these people's situation, up in the woods to the left, is achieving a sad finality.

Like a game of Pick-Up Sticks on a very grand scale

We can proceed no farther, clearly.

Back to the mummy, washed over in the waves like La Donna Partigiana in Venice . . .

Don't look at this, it's horrible. A monument to the female partisans murdered by the fascists in World War Two.

But back to the driftwood, whom no one misses, and our two-tiered escarpments.

One discerns one's colleagues far up the beach (red swimwear).

More polished-up skeletal parts

It's been a rewarding expedition down the beach, if a little bit uncomfortable from time to time.

Later in the day, we're stopping off at 'Far Shores', a venerable family getaway now frequented by another branch of the clan, who'd like a casual look-in and report by telephone on how things are holding up here.

It's a very fine old place . . .

. . . but the battle with the lake is expensive and possibly doomed -- at least, threatened. More and more rock-filled 'gabions' thrown in on top of their predecessors.

Wait -- are those cute little geese over there?

Yes. Very cute. Stay clear, they'll bite your finger off. And maybe poop on your shoe.

We've driven a bit farther west along the Superior shore to visit the scenic overlook of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. We've been hiking here often -- Kristin's been hiking and camping here all her life -- but there's no hiking on the agenda for today (or this year). But David deserves at least a cursory introduction to what's on offer here.

That's the 'Lake of the Clouds' looking east from one of the two scenic overlooks.

And that's looking southwest to where the Big Carp River Trail, leaving from here, reaches the Lake Superior shoreline again. The entire wilderness area, the largest in Michigan, totals more than 24,000 hectares, or 60,000 acres.

Here's the higher of the two scenic overlooks.

Kristin's pointing out all of the hiking destinations and landmarks that can be seen under all those trees.

It's fun to be back in the Porkies.

A bridge over the Big Carp River from the Escarpment Trail. Some representative hikes in the Porkies in 2011, 2012, and 2013 can be seen here (hikes from the 1990s predated pocket-size digital cameras).

Leaving the Porcupines for the next stage in our itinerary, which is . . .

. . . early dinner at The Konteka Black Bear Resort in White Pine, MI, where whilst you eat . . .

. . . you can observe the bears eating, too.

Sort of disgusting. But that's nothing . . .

. . . in 2012 we were treated to a standoff between the bear and a coyote. The coyote gave up and stalked away.

Choupette's Eternal Quest. The ambition, the curiosity, the foolhardiness are all evolutionary, they're hardwired.

But there's always room for a moment of doubt, and a pause for reflection.

The next day, 1 August 2021 (the Swiss National Day), David's on his way back to Madison and the surf's still up.

Choup's trying out a new strategy -- if you remain stock still and do not move a muscle, in time the shrews and voles will come to you.

Melvin has never had any interest in shrews, voles, or even little shrew-like cloth cat toys. Melvin just meditates, contemplates who knows what.

Time for at least one more photograph

Impressive, for a lake, even for a very big lake

As the weather clears, we've got time for a great late breakfast at Syl's in Ontonagon.

Across the street, the gentleman snoozing next to our Volvo is not dead. He's just stuffed.

Whatever you need, it's here. Gas (incl. diesel) . . . sacks of potatoes . . . sixpacks of 'White Claw'. All here.

A new scheme -- hiding behind a bush until the shrews and voles pass by.

Melvin is just wondering what Mom's doing . . .

. . . just reading again. No fun.

It's time now for cleaning up for the next visitors, in a few days, changing the bedding, vacuuming the beach sand off the floors, washing up the dishes, leaving everything comme il faut.

And packing up the car, with persistent supervision from the smaller members of the party.

A few last photos

What will the beach look like next summer? we ask ourselves.

On y va.

Back to Mussent Point to watch (and listen to) the piliated woodpeckers hacking away at our tree.

That tree is the eagle family's go-to spying platform when they're up at this end of the lake, and they won't be best pleased to find the woodpeckers compromising its lifespan.

Back home, ready for Season 4 of Nicole Walker's Unforgotten series of British 'cold cases'.

Next up: Loons again, ducks again, a sailboat, and more riprap

Summer 2021

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 27 August 2021.


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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