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.

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

coming to terms with 18 to 21 August 2021, to forestall misunderstandings

Passing the grassy reef near Raymond's ('Crescent Island' on the map below) -- a lake dweller inquired of Cousin Rob what sort of grass had just begun lurching upward on her shoreline, and he's trying to match species. Here are two, neither of them that one.

Farther south, here is a worthy weekend cottage on the lake, tastefully done . . . except perhaps for . . .

. . . the trompe l'oeil boathouse door.

A Gnarl of Shoreline Roots

A sorrowing tree soon to enter history

Shoreline protection, a little late for this formerly shading tree

A beautiful boathouse suitable for a family of four year-round, with its own palatial setting
(and a tiny flag tacked on perhaps as an afterthought)

Elegant summer accommodations for several favorite watercraft

-- Who's that trespassing on my car!?!?!

It's just Choupette, weighing her chances of leaping up into the roof beams without disastering.

Another wonder of nature. A smashed up possibly lightningified tree that persists in thinking that it's really still alive.

Eeww, a nasty break, and its top end is stuck down into the lake.

But it's got its leaves still on it, and new acorns just emerging for its future generations. The little oak tree that would not surrender.

A very sad case. Someone should consider rescuing those acorns before it's too late.

There's no help for that patient. Think 'triage'.

We're just pedaling past one of the islands, admiring the way in which the waves are washing it down to its bare rocky bones.

But there's still the purple loosestrife to consider, and Cousin Rob is mooring his hydrobike to squirm in through the punji-stick defenses of the dead tag alders.

That's the target -- it looks unassuming, but each purple stalk can release over 400 million new invasive species-spawn into the lake. Something like that number, anyway; maybe 10,000. Or more!

Cousin Rob is a dedicated foe of the dreaded loosestrife pest on this lake. And here's why:  

"Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a fast-spreading, tall Eurasian plant that grows primarily in wetlands and ditches, but can invade home gardens. It was introduced from Europe in the 1800s as a perennial garden plant. . . . [I]t is illegal to sell, distribute or cultivate this plant or its seeds in Wisconsin. Purple loosestrife has a wide tolerance of environmental conditions and spreads by seed as well as by aggressive rhizomes. Purple loosestrife can produce more than two million tiny seeds per plant. Seeds are easily spread by wind and water, remaining viable in the soil for many years. The plant also has a thick taproot with fibrous rhizomes that form a dense mat, making it difficult to remove. In addition, the insects and diseases that keep the plant’s population in check in its homeland are not present in North America. These factors allow purple loosestrife to spread rapidly through wetlands and other areas where it chokes out other desirable native vegetation and eliminates open water habitat that is important to wildlife." [Wisconsin Horticulture]

How's that for a letter of recommendation?

That's Baby Leigh (state property because someone ages ago forgot to pay the taxes on it)

A fairly new casualty from that multi-trunk willow tree in the foreground

And a distressingly undercut soil base -- it might end up as a bare rocky reef in a few years if the Wake Boats carry on as erst they have begun.

But even dead and dying trees can have their aesthetic moments.

We consider this to be a Modern American Classic -- what company could have branded its cute floating toy for children a 'Patriot Airhead'. (Not that we're offended at all.)

A last shot (for today) of Baby Leigh, always reminding us of an 18th century pirate ship with leaves on.

We're cruising the Sandy Beach bay (lamentably called 'Manila Bay' on the map below), verging on tears over this fallen erosion victim (a 'martyr' to us!), but with an eye to anything noteworthy cruising past us in the shallows . . .

Good Lord! -- like that! What on earth?

It can't be! Nobody told us about this. We swim here!

If we'd wanted to mingle with murderous water snakes, we could have moved to Africa or Indonesia. But so far, it hasn't noticed us. We're whispering.

Notice that we're employing our high power Canon Powershot zoom feature to pretend that we're really investigating this squirmy beast close up.

Isn't that the diamond-head feature of the poisonous instantly-lethal species?

The great loosestrife showdown

Moving on, we're passing through the mid-lake in the canal, aiming for . . .

. . . the second half of the canal there at the far end. That's the Forest Reserve visitors' bench just in the centre, easily missed at this distance (about 100 metres).

There are long-term vile purple loosestrife refugees hiding in these swamps -- we've been observing and neglecting them for years.

There's one lot, just there. Grown over the years into Invasive Weed Arrogance. We know people (includng my wife) who've tried to get to them from the land side, but there isn't any land side, and it's taken as a given that the water side is loose mud down 50 metres or so.

And that's the other legendary predatory mini-monster of loosestrife. We, like everyone else over the years, pass them by with twinges of misgivings.

Now for the rest of the canal. The arrow points to the bypass for winter snowmobiles that wouldn't be able to negotiate the culvert.

Once over the road atop the culvert, the hardy snowmobilers can here rejoin the canal and proceed to the next point of reinvigorating refreshment.

The lovely canal, as welcoming as always

Don't daydream, keep focused. Peer into the depths -- there are horrors lurking to remove your propeller.

We're stuck! Were stuck, but struggled free. Three weeks later we got potentially permanently snagged there by underwater tree pieces with many outreaching propeller-grabbing tentacles. That episode will be memorialized in the fullness of time.

This loosestrife fanatic is demonstrating his devotion to weed-duty, whilst we leap over into the farther lake to get a view of how our spillway is holding up.

The last time we were here, our lake was gushing out of a break low down on the right side of it, but would you believe it, it seems to have been repaired. By somebody.

A potential stowaway -- we nearly squoozed him, but happily we reacted with astonishing agility.

Back down through the dark, forbidding water

A careful eye to whatever's just visible under the surface -- it's like playing dodgeball evading the debris.

Under the bridge, or presently, the culvert -- those culvert ribbings below are reflections from above.

Out the other side

We're drifting about, admiring the wonders of nature, awaiting the rest of our party.

The rest of our party is taking longer to catch up than usual.

Well, the rest of our party has decided to go for the main prize. This veteran clump of purple loosestrife has discouraged small platoons of weedpullers over several years, but Cousin Rob is ready for the challenge.

One huge clump down, in the black bag, and now onward for the other one

There's virtually no bottom to the muck here, and stepping off the bike would be a life-altering mistake.

The roots are putting up a prodigious battle, but they are losing.

The vile weed is hanging on, to the last root.

Can it be hauled aboard without capsizing one's watercraft?

Ici, le Chef des Loosestrifeurs, bravo

This is one for the noxious weed record books.

Back out to the bay to sort the thing out properly

Thick muck removal and then . . .

. . . over to dispose of it properly on land. Left near the water, however compromised they may be, they can still send out their spawn to make the world a less inviting place.

More ducks on one of their favorite dead trees

Waiting patiently for the bus . . . which doesn't run here anymore

And at the end of the afternoon, the long pedal back north

The Lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods

Mussent Point is at no. 12.

Next up: Random lake views from a declining summer

Summer 2021

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 8 September 2021.


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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