Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June Moon

June 18, 2008
Full moons are magical times on the island. My favorite one comes in July, but this one is pretty special. It is close to the horizon, and throws shadows in the night.

The midnight air is perfect, and the lake shimmers with the moon beams—I wish it could stay forever. There isn’t the usual night music of frogs and toads this year. We had a wet, cold spring and all the night creatures are late to go into song. Even in the silence, it was a treat to walk the pathways and sea wall and take in this perfect night.

The morning found the buffalo fish mating—again! This is the first time I’ve seen them do their dance twice in a season. The first time, a month ago, I found most of the eggs washed up above the waterline after a particularly turbulent storm. Perhaps there was something that told them to have another go. They are large and fat, resembling some of the carp you see in the hotel coy ponds. They make great tangles of bodies along the seawall—it is nothing to see a dozen in one place. No one on Manitou fishes for them, but I’m told they taste a lot like catfish.

Bass are the big trophy fish on the lake. In the sixties the fishermen were content to fly fish for pan fish like blue gill and sunfish—now the bass boats rule the water. My sister-in-law lives on White’s creek at the entry to the lake, and expects to catch bass with a worm lure within the hour of putting a line in the water—some times taking as many as four big ones.