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.

Loons again, ducks again, a sailboat, and more riprap

memorializing 9 through 17 August 2021; lest we forget

Two loon chicks this year, the first time in some years that there's even been one, and perhaps miraculously they've both survived for two months and grown fat (9 August 2021).

The fat part, we've been informed, is actually because their new feathers haven't settled down yet -- they're bouffant, as it were.

A family portrait

Diving practice should be starting soon.

Time for another Secchi disk reading -- the results are not heartening. It's at visibility to 15 feet, down from 20 feet a few weeks ago. A lot of motorized boats on the lake recently, and a few impressive storms.

Well spotted, Rob: speaking of recent storms, here's our latest arboreal catastrophe, down south across from Tigertail and not far from the highway bridge.

Whoops -- one minute it's here, the next half a minute most of it is in the soup.

Someday soon we'll have to stop saying 'Oh well, very sad, but we've got plenty more".

A clean break, evidently, and with interesting properties obvious to experts

Well, we've got plenty more.

Melvin the Doge, awaiting the Rapture (which may or may not include cats amongst the Chosen)

This is Choupette's way, not speaking English well, of signaling a felt desire to follow family events in real time.

A colorful flag, strung up religiously every day, and a sign that says 'Open Water', to allay any doubts on that matter. (It's actually meant for skimobiles on the frozen lake in winter -- 'stay away, we unfreeze our water here'.)

A slightly more anxious flying of the treasured flag, on a Smokercraft (which may either mean only smokers are welcome or it's a warning about a persistently unreliable engine)(neither, in fact, it's the brand name of a company descended since 1921 whose website proclaims it to be 'the leading boat and pontoon manufacturer')(though it's presently the only pontoon boat of that name on this lake, out of 42)(the present leader is Benningtons, far and away) . . . (We have a Grumman at Mussent Point, made about the same time that Grumman was making Hellcats for the Pacific War.)

A glance back into our northeastern cove, where . . .

. . . there appears to be a living, floating, writhing mass of an aquatic something.

And now we've startled them, Our Bad. They're unfurling out into a line -- Mergansers on the lam.

Headed for the Mussent Point boathouse, apparently. It would be interesting to know whether the 7th in line today always falls in at the 7th position, etc., a regular orderly formation. It's doubtful.

Now out into the mid-lake. Depending upon how you count, it looks like between 14 and 16 under tutelage, and one maternal master forming them all up. (A recent piece in Science News reported a study showing that the little ducks evolutionarily form into a line in order to benefit from each others' wakes and minimize drag for their energy's sake.)

The folks at the top end of the lake have memorialized their favorite views on the side of their boathouse, cool.

Speaking of the Mussent Point boathouse, here we come, to the semi-distant strains of appallingly bad 'pop music' through really vicious loudspeakers.

Here they come again -- they were here last year, and still more obstreperously so earlier this summer. It's a high speed nautical Frat Party.

Our quiet conversations are interrupted by whoops of hysterical bro-bonding and the wank-wank-wank of a booming bass beat of crap music.

-- Pass me up another cold one!
-- You got it, bro!

Meanwhile, except for the wank-wank, everything's quiet back in Frog Bay.

Our Chef des Loosestrifeurs is finally getting back into invasive-weed-extracting mode, a little belatedly this year.

A badly undercut shoreline, and some more doomed trees

The lake is recruiting another victim, soon -- Tigertail, with Pink Island behind it.

And another sad case in the South Bay, still struggling greenly for survival

That's the mystery canoe, apparently dragged up the bank and dumped there. It appears to have been repositioned since the last time we were here. We'll revisit it another day.

The only sailboat on the lake, and here it comes. 16 August 2021.

It's Stephanie and Tommy, taking advantage of a very windy day. (I'd be terrified, to be honest.)

Heading in towards Point o' Pines, and we're hoping it gets turned round before they whack into Dave and Gail's pontoon boat on the dock.

Coming back this way now

(Tommy has just called out, 'Best not get too close'.) [Not all of us are born sailors. The Dean of the Graduate Library School at URI once took me and my two young daughters sailing out from Westerly, RI, and I warned the kids that he didn't always make perfect sense, but if they didn't understand something they should just grin happily at him and nod. Somewhere off Point Judith, at an unwelcome turn of the wind, he began shouting at them 'Put the thing in the thing! Put the thing in the thing!' and they both just grinned at him. And began nodding.]

We've disturbed another little gang slipping round the point into Tomahawk Bay (16 August 2021).

The Sergeant looks straight ahead, watchfully; the troops can be more curious.

Kayakers on the horizon -- they may begin to feel surrounded.

That speaks of great dignity.

A course reversal.
-- Let's go, kids, this way now.

We'll leave them to their own paddling all about.

We've come to see the results of the Grand Riprap Installation we watched in progress last week. The owner of both this and the next shoreline properties must be dedicating a big pile of dough to installing riprap anti-erosion protections over some 650 feet of his shoreline.

He's got six boats tied up here and on the second dock farther along, and a fine glass-fronted door for the boathouse, to perfect the exhibition.

A lovely electric boat, a work of art in its own way. Nice little flag, too.
(We've unidentified the boat's name; privacy protocols.)

The riprap continues, past that second dock and . . .

. . . all the way to the end of the property. These are people who obviously understand the enormous damage that wake boats can inflict on the lake, and are prepared to take vigorous steps to defend at least their part of it.

Here comes the punch line.

Tucked away in their boathouse is a wakeboat of their own.

Loon time again. A parent loon and one of the chicks

. . . and now both of the chicks. The second one has just popped up from a dive.

It appears that today, and the days surrounding, the chick in the middle is reluctant to participate in the diving instruction.

That's one of the lake's two most assertive outboard motors, a 250 horsepower monster that requires a third pontoon to keep the boat afloat (the other is the 450 hp extravagance next to the riprap boathouse just seen above). [In our unofficial census in 2018, only three of the lake's pontoon boats sported outboards of more than 115 hp.]

That's a nicely groomed lawn there -- what chemicals have been keeping that in such fine form, but are now in the lake.

A day or two later, here's half of our loon family again -- Mom and the baby loon who simply will not try diving.

It's clearly time for a little talk, about how eventually even cute little chicks are going to have to learn how to dive for their dinner. Mom isn't going to be around forever.

Back to the parade of erratic glacier-dropped boulders, this one with the lightning-fried tree of a few years ago still looking dead.

The subtle fascination with huge rocks that have trees growing on them

That's arguably our biggest visible boulder on the lake -- most of them are piled around the southern regions of the lake, but the other contender, submerged since the water level re-rose some years ago, is up towards the main part of the lake (near the number 78 on the map below). That's the one with all of the propeller scars slashed across the top of it.

Another victim of the years

The passing of time has not been doing this dock any favors. (Nor us.)

The Lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods

Mussent Point is at no. 12.

Next up: The lake snake, the Patriot Airhead, & the grand battle of the loosestrife

Summer 2021

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 3 September 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