Happy Saturday morning all:

A new wisdom from deep in the north woods:

”Wanna see some city-slicker’s eyeballs pop? Just have them watch you scoot across the middle of Lake Wakamata in a 16-foot canoe, running with three foot waves like it’s nothing.” ~ our north woods everyman Claire

After a week of oppressive heat and even more cruel humidity this morning it’s clear, sunny, and just touching sixty degrees. Perfect. Perfect, as is my coffee on the deck while wearing a fleece over top of my tee.

Our three mile morning walk found much more spring in each and every step than we’d experienced all week. Marlene and I made great time, even considering the stop we made so that I could get a dead Gull off the highway and placed properly on Nature’s dining table in the grasses alongside.

Sometime today we’re expecting Cathy, Jason, Marin, and Dinah to arrive. All is ready. Even if we experience only fractionally as great a time as we did a week ago when Derek and Kellen were here, then we’ll still have a blast. Though, we’re planning on just as great a time.

Paying attention – is crucially important. Thursday around noon, in the stifling heat, a small Lund boat slowed up, “Pastoors” came the cry. It was our neighbor from across and down the cove inviting us for a spur-of-the-moment Happy Hour and dinner combination.

At 5:30 we were sitting chatting away with three other couples. The wind had picked up a bit and the breeze felt wonderful sitting on their deck.

Marcia and I had taken the little aluminum Sea Nymph even though the 1955 vintage engine had earlier in the week developed a slight problem – at idle an electric arc between the engine cap and the shifter had started. However, since Marcia had barely been on the boat all summer I felt this to be a golden opportunity for her to ride the thing; and after all, it ran fine at speed.IMG_2277 (1024x768)

As the pleasant breeze became a ten-knot wind coming straight down the cove a decision was made to have dinner indoors.

With lots of pleasant talk and windows almost closed to prevent stuff from blowing around no one heard the claps of distant thunder.

It wasn’t until someone noticed that the lake had filled with white caps that a realization that heavier weather was approaching occurred. Two couples had to travel by boat to get home – Marcia and I were one of the two.

Eight-thirty, it was getting dark as I backed away from the dock. Just then the rain started. For mere seconds there were some advance droplets and then heavy sheets of rain blew across the lake. I, wearing eyeglasses not equipped with wipers, could barely see. Marcia, facing me in the bow, started waving at someone on shore. A quick glance over my shoulder made me realize that Dennis and Elaine in their much larger boat were following us. I remember thinking how kind it was of them to make certain we made it home safe and sound in such weather. I also remember that the little Sea Nymph was very stable but also very sluggish as we bounced around with the white caps.

A bit later, as we approached our dock, the first wave of the storm passed and the waters calmed. It was then that I heard Marcia, Dennis, and Elaine, all talking and pointing at something behind our boat.

I cleaned the lenses on my glasses and slowed the engine. Something indeed was following us, something that at first looked like a snake. Closer inspection made me realize that what was following us was a long section of water line hose, like about 40 feet of the stuff along with its anchor and marker buoy (the buoy was under water because of the anchor)—its one end was wrapped around our engine’s propeller shaft.

Somehow I had managed to snag our host’s water line.

Marcia and I were both soaked to the skin. Marcia was laughing so hard that I am certain she was even a bit wetter than me, even though I had to secure the boat and was actually out in the rain longer than her.

By the way, the storm raged all night long, by morning our gauge showed that 5-inches of rain had fallen. The news reported that around eleven that evening a semi had toppled into the rail on the Mackinac bridge forcing it to close for a time.

Study – is necessary to get a grip on how to best exclude bats from a structure. This I have studied.

Earlier in the season I felt as though our efforts from last year had paid off. Plus, finally, our bat-house hanging in back of the veggie garden is finally in use (it took three years). Eating as much as 1,200 insects an hour- coupled with a much worse mosquito season than normal, I want to keep the little guys around. Just not with us.

I thought I had heard some activity, but chose to disregard with the hope that I was wrong. Then it happened. While Vince and I were on a quad run with the kids Marcia encountered a bat in the cabin. It was daylight and she managed to get it out. Hours later I was asked to escort another off the premises. Using a net to catch it, I showed off the squiggly little brown bat to Derek and Kellen who ooh-ed and ah-ed. Out the door he went.

100_1538Marcia made sure that I made a decision. Yesterday, now under a new directive, I began another exclusion program – now with renewed vigor. Along the cabin roof’s ridge line I sealed any opening larger than ¼ of an inch. What appeared to be a main entry point I screened in to allow for egress, but not for entry. Last night, light in hand, I watched what was going on.

Now, with the front secure, I’ll do likewise on the back-side of the ridge.

Ah, the sweet scent of victory.

Animal planet – Not much in the way of animal life this week (other than the discussed bat stuff), although I did spot an adult Porcupine ambling along the side of the road.

However, first thing this morning, Dennis pulled up in his boat with his friend Tom who had just brought up the freshest and sweetest corn ever. Twelve ears of these beauties are currently housed in our refrigerator. As the song goes, “tonight’s the night”.

Oh yes, nearly forgot. A year ago I volunteered to participate with a Loon survey project for our lake. This week a new, now 32 year record, of Loon activity in Canada was published. Big deal you say? Actually yes. Loons in the wild live approximately 20 years and are pretty well near the top of the food chain. What this means is that they are a great guide of the ecological wellbeing of the area. Anyway, click HERE, to download your very own copy of the guide. Look at the stats and especially enjoy the section on the ecology of the Loon. You’ll also have access to some stunning photographs of these magnificent and fascinating birds.

Fini – Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers.
Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, July 21, 2007

Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:
” Play: Work that you enjoy doing for nothing.” — Evan Esar
Music from last night’s wedding reception held up the street is still in the air. Our street was filled with oversized stretched-limo Hummers. Today it’s more neighborhood festivities. Now it’s that magic time, it’s my morning coffee time.

All week I have been talking up my great time from last weekend when I was in Florida with Vince, Kirstin, and the gang. The real question to be asked though is whether or not they were as thrilled as I was. In any case I thought that before I leave the subject I would share this photo of Derek (the barber) giving me a hand last Sunday morning. Yes indeedy, we had a fine time.

Early in the week it was the tragic crash of the TAM airliner in Brazil with 195 deaths that brought renewed awareness of the frailty of life front and center. Over the years I have taken that same flight several times visiting Farroupilha in southern Brazil. One trip I remember coming in during a horrible rainstorm, visibility outside was nil till I saw the runway underneath us at maybe 20’. At that very moment the pilot applied full power. Finally we landed at a city about 100 KM away, sat for 2 hours, and then returned. Click here to see a short video clip of what it takes to land at Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo. Take note of how much of the runway is used during what is a normal landing. Other than the old Hong Kong airport not too many have this interesting of an approach.

During the week Marcia and I hung 23 flyers on corner telephone poles and with rampant Craiglist advertising this promises to be a major street-yard sale. Right after posting I’ll head out to plant signs complete with balloons (yes, Marcia blew them up; I have a bit more sense). The kids will also be over bringing their stuff and hopefully cleaning out more of what they’ve stored in our attic.

At three this afternoon the street gets closed down to traffic and our neighborhood street party will kick-in. The weather is perfect and my expectations are high. From what I understand this event will go on till most of us need to crawl home.

By the way, am I mistaken or did I see the same characters sitting in bag chairs waiting for the Harry Potter book as I did waiting for Apple’s iphone? Aren’t these the same people storming into stores the Friday after Thanksgiving? I am beginning to think that these faces are employed by television stations to provide their stock footage.

Make it a great week everyone. Now, what is the easiest way to carry a large sign, several balloons, and a brimming mug of piping hot coffee down the street? Ideas anyone?

Cheers,

Dirk

7/21/2007 06:32:00 AM

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