Thursday, July 26, 2012

Turd on a Shoe

Turd On A Shoe

Day 7 (7/26/12)
I had mentioned in my last blog that we are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history.This week we had a little break in the weather conditions. Last night it rained a good portion of the night and we got just less than two inches. It was still quite warm so we decided to take another trip up to Gerber Lake. Some days you can go to the lake and things seem  uneventful ,still fun but just not that exciting. Today was not one of those days. As soon as we got to the lake we saw a beaver. Of course when we got the cameras out he decided to disappear. As we were backing out from the landing Eileen spotted a small baby turtle. Upon future observation she noticed it was sitting on a floating shoe (or at least we hope it was floating). She managed to photograph it for some time. It was so cute she did not want to scare it by getting to close so we just continued on our merry way. It was still very hot, we keep saying we are going to get out earlier but we never do, so we found what shade we could and Eileen started setting up and photographing her fairy habitats while I fished. She had built some new houses and was excited about finding environments to put them in. Because of the time of day fishing was pretty nonexistent but I had fun throwing lures around. After a couple of hours we started hearing thunder rumbling in the distance. It did not seem like any immediate threat, it was still sunny with a few clouds, but we started meandering our way back to the boat landing. On our way I noticed splash on the far side of the lake and noticed a osprey lifting off from the surface. We tried to get pictures of it and Eileen was kind of successful but my old camera has a hard time with the fast speed stuff. On our way back to the landing we checked for the turtle but he was gone. We did catch a glimpse of the beaver one last time but again had no opportunity to take a picture. On most days this would have been the end of the adventure but not today. As I said earlier we had heard thunder in the distance. As we packed up  the Yak Hauler the clouds started closing in and the thunder got more intense. We no more than got on the road and it started to rain. Not the nice easy rain but the type of rain that you see coming in sheets. We managed to drive out it for awhile only to see another band crossing in front of us. It was awesomely beautiful to watch but not so much fun to drive through with two kayaks on top. When we turned east for our final leg of the journey we once again drove out of it so we stopped to get some pictures. It soon caught us and now the wind was blowing straight out of the north and managed to blow one of the kayaks off the edge of the rack. Again we caught a bit of a break and quickly straightened the kayak and tightened the straps. Just as we were finishing it hit use again with blinding fury. With little visibility and a huge side wind we limped back to town. I had left some windows open so when we got home in spite of the heavy rains we made a dash for the house. Fortunately little had blown in. Then the power went off. As these things go the rain stopped about ten minutes later and the neighbors gathered to discuss their experiences with the storm. I looked at the rain gauge we had gotten an inch and half  of rain in less than a half hour.
Find Eileen in this Picture

There she is

More Fairies

Snag Fairies
Tree Fairies
Trailer Trash Fairies
Here comes the storm

Friday, July 20, 2012

Return of the Green Heron

Eileen at the Arch

Day 6 (7/20/12)
We had several days this week with temperatures at around or over 100 degrees. We, in Wisconsin, are experiencing, one of the worst droughts in recent history. All the lakes are low and a couple of small ponds that we pass on our way kayaking are all dried up. There is one in particular, where we always keep our eyes open for cranes that is totally dry with not even mud left. Yesterday, and the day before, we had trace amounts of rain and a break in the temperature so we loaded up the Yak Hauler and headed for Gerber Lake. Eileen wanted to check out the area for possible habitats for fairy houses and I wanted to check out the area for possible fish. Eileen was quite successful with her venture, I on the other hand should have known this morning when the pond fish were less than excited about eating that I would not do well. But as they say a day out fishing is better than… especially a day as beautiful as today. Eileen was happy to see the return of the green herons on Gerber. Our first year Kayaking she had spent hours chasing them around the lake to photograph and video them. She wasn’t able to get any real close ups but they stayed in the area for a long time. As I worked my way around the shore line, trying to scare up a fish Eileen set up habitats. She had a very successful afternoon but determined she needed a few more buildings if she was going to come up with new, different sites. By then our backsides were getting a little sore so we headed on back to shore. 

The Green Heron

Friday, July 13, 2012

Out Of The Sun

Out of the Sun

Day 5 (7/11-12/12)
Yesterday Eileen and I took off for an overnighter to Mauthe Lake. If you follow my blog at all you know that Mauthe Lake is one of our favorite destination spots. It was a great night to go. The middle of the week is usually a little less crowded but for whatever reason there were very few people out on the lake and trails. It seemed like the campground and beach was full but people must have just been hanging at their campsites and the beach. The first night we went up the river and didn’t encounter another boat until on the way back and that was guy who  had seen us from a bridge crossing the river and asked us about how to get there. Mostly the trip was uneventful. The water was very low so we were only able to go up a little past the footbridge. The sun was directly in our eyes on the way out and even with sunglasses it was a little hard to see much. On our way back Eileen stopped to set up a few fairy villages and I did some fishing. It wasn’t until we were almost back to the lake that things started getting interesting. We had just rounded a bend when I noticed a crane standing on the edge of the river. I signaled Eileen and she slowly drifted around to the other side. Usually cranes are very skittish but these seemed mostly unfazed by our presence. There were three of them. They appeared to be a family with two adults and a smaller offspring. After about ten fifteen minutes of jockeying around to get better views they finally took off. We continue down the river and just before we got to the mouth, there they were again. This time we watched them even longer. Much of the time they were in tall grass and we would just see their heads pop up every once in a while to check out what we were doing. Eileen continued to photograph them while I tried to videotape them. Eventually they just took off but it had definitely been the highlight of our night.
Our plan was to get up early the next morning and see if the cranes were back but as they say “so much for the best laid plans…” Eileen’s Air mattress had lost all its air so she had trouble sleeping until I gave her mine. Then even though it only got down in the sixties we both woke up cold in the night. We decide that our sleeping bags which are rated down to forty degrees must require the use of a parka to do it. So, when morning came and it started to warm up it felt good to just sleep in. After a pot of possibly the best coffee I have ever tasted and a little breakfast we were ready to get back out on the water. Since it was late in the morning by the time we got out the cranes were nowhere to be seen but we did a little exploring and I managed to get a couple of  fish. It started to get warm even on the lake so we decided to go in and finish packing up our camp. As always we ended our stay with one last bike ride but for that adventure you have to check out:

More Fairies


More Cranes

Me watching Cranes

My Favorite

OK It's a little small but friendly