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.
(in chronological order) (so not really random)
commemorating 24 to 30 August 2021, as a sort of aide-mémoire
A pause for some purple loosestrife hunting amongst the foliage
It's a job that requires dedication, perserverance, and lots of free time. And some large plastic garbage bags.
That's the lake's public landing.
There's a sparkling new Barletta brand of pontoon boat, allegedly fitted out with depth gauges and all the other electronic amenities. (There's a photo of a different kind of Barletta at the bottom of this page.)
The new Barletta pontoon boat's home base . . .
. . . with its own non-electronic amenities.
Just a bit farther north along the shore, a peek at Gail's amazing gardens
On 25 August 2021, we're on still another tour of the South Bay -- with deafening Walmart distributions parading southward over the highway bridge.
A brave and ill-considered attempt to pedal directly over the fallen tree and, inevitably, stuck, so . . .
. . . Plan B.
Our brains on a bad morning
The mystery canoe is still there, apparently slightly moved since our last visit
An arboreal obeisance
A little layby off the highway, with rumors of a plan to develop it as a simple public put-in for canoes and kayaks
Walmart distributions parading northward [Those aren't really Walmart trucks, specifically, but might as well be.]
More purple loosestrife patrol. Or chanterelle mushroom patrol.
Or erratic boulder patrol
The venerable eagle's nest on Adjidaumo Island
The study / bedroom complex at Mussent Point, during an evening break from our pointless labors
An early morning, 29 August 2021, time for the obligatory eagle reconnaissance before we let the cats out
Bummer, there's one of them now, surveilling our back door.
With a collaborator in a nearby tree. It's a pincer movement. They're clever, but vile, national symbols.
We're waiting the eagles out with some perambulations all round the Point before the day gets seriously underway.
That's looking southeastward towards the entrance to Tomahawk Bay about a mile away (map below). That's a kids' swing hanging down there in the centre.
The Mussent Point dock, at the hour when the lake is nearly always dead calm
The White Cat is already out, even before the dew has dried off the woodwork. The White Cat is variously named 'Sweetheart', 'Pinky', and a few other compromise suggestions that have popped up recently (but we'll stick with 'White Cat').
The predatory birds have moved on down the lake now. Melvin and Choupette are probably large enough by now that we needn't fear attacks by raptors that prefer floating dead fish anyway -- but one can't be too careful (these things didn't get to be national symbols by being merciful).
That's our own little contribution to the general flagginess round the lake, apparently, and why not, we say. It's colorful!
Our near neighbors along the shore are members of the flag club, too, it seems, and they're not even here on the lake at the moment. Choupette, upon being let out of the cottage moments ago, has dashed off to resume her explorations of northern Wisconsin, and since she often patters over the cattle guard on Mussent Point and heads over this way, we'll unfortunately need to round her up before she tries exploring the highway.
Trudging up the long driveway, we're simultaneously certain that Choupette would never brave the traffic on the highway but unable to put the picture out of our obsessive mind's eye of what might have happened if she had done. At least we can be sure that no sane cat would have ventured down into the disgusting swamp.
Having spent twenty years explaining to everyone who might listen all of the many virtues of swamps and other wetlands, we still find them very repulsive.
There's no Choupette smeared across the highway, so we can return to base, confident that she's just playing about in the vegetation here trying to torment little shrews and voles.
We call out 'Choupette!' from time to time, but she'll trot along to us when she wants to and not otherwise.
It's time for our daily afternoon hydrobike expedition -- our associate has been up here at the north end of the lake with chanterelle mushrooms on his mind, but now we're cruising down the east side of the lake, admiring the various flag arrangements along the way.
It certainly is a colorful sort of flag -- brightens up any otherwise boring scene.
And where one flag is good, two must certainly be better. One can never have too many when it comes to demonstrative patriotic gestures.
It's been determined that it's time for a Secchi disk reading for lake turbidity, here at what's considered to be the deepest part of the lake, but some of us might be suspecting that the water's too choppy for a good assessment.
But some of us will go to any lengths to get this done.
Whilst others of our party will just admire the profile of George Island in this evocative lighting.
Reeling up the Secchi disk for another day, one with calmer waters
Sampling the grasses on the grassy reef -- they are surely identifiable with enough determination.
The back porch -- very soon the acorns will start dropping off the oak trees overhead, and the porch will sound like a war zone.
One has noticed, without even trying, a very loud juvenile eagle squawking out 'feed me! feed me!' -- across from the Tigertail, 30 August 2021, and there must be a Doting Mom on the watch for dead fish somewhere nearabouts.
A semi-soothing mom eagle reply is coming from over this way, between the Tigertail on the left and Pink Island . . .
. . . and there she is, indefatigable dead-fish surveillance from the heights of Pink.
We approach for a better view of Mom Eagle (or Dad Eagle, as it might be) . . .
. . . and we either scared her off (we hope not), or she's just moving on to new dead-fishing grounds.
Mom is flapping along into South Shore Drive Bay (awkwardly, 'Indian Bay' on the map) . . .
. . . and seeking out a better vantage point, for dead-fish hunting.
Mom has settled in for a renewed spell of fish-foraging, whilst Junior has come along past Tigertail and settled into his own tree nearby (that photo didn't turn out; he kept ducking behind the moving branches).
That birch tree leaning lakeward to out-compete the others for valuable sunlight is actually quite interesting -- it's three trees growing out of one stump. Imagine; how creative.
We're back into the little cove on the southern underside of the Tigertail, scene of our recent defeats trying to assault our way into the hidden cove back into the forest.
That's a cute little isthmus just behind the point, where on some occasions we've found deer come to drink.
A Confusion of Trees
Our colleague seems very determined about something.
It appears that, against all expectations, he is preparing to try still again to chop a way into that little sub-cove protected by all the dead tag alders.
We've yearned for some years to get back into that little hidden swampy sort of pool, but we agreed some weeks ago that it couldn't be done on hydrobikes, given the tentacle-ish dead alders blocking the entrance. And we observed that the pool is only about two inches deep anyway.
But 'hope springs eternal' (apparently) [the prevalent addiction to hoping as recently been called 'hopium']. Now, even with his invaluable poking stick, he's tangled up again.
And may never be able to get free.
But, after some weedy struggles, we're out at the far end of the bay, facing the South Shore Drive shore, and pedaling home soon.
Mussent Point is at no. 12.
. . . much more fun than purple loosestrifing in Wisconsin.