Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Winter's Scene

A color photograph--but a world in black and white.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


From our family on Treasure Island and Lake Manitou--to your family. May your holiday be joyous and your New Year safe and prosperous.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


When you are on an island, ice takes on a whole new interest when winter comes. Will it bear my weight? How slippery is it? Is there anyway I can cross to shore? I've done some reading on the subject--and I thought I'd share some things I've learned.

If you want to walk on water, the consensus seems to be that three inches of thickness is needed. You can get away with a lot less if you are on black ice. That was the condition we found at the beginning of last winter. After a rousing storm which truly stirred the last vestige of warm water from the bottom, we entered a quiet time which promoted a "perfect" layer of ice of about one inch in thickness. The still air and cold temps allowed for a uniform freeze that allowed a perfect crystalline structure to form in the ice--a structure of great strength. We enjoyed a full winter of this strong underlying surface, as additional layers were built.

This year looks to be a white ice year. We started with a nice one half inch of black ice, but it was quickly lashed with a warming rain, and now we have a hodgepodge which will probably serve as our base layer for the year.

For Cookie and myself, it means walking across with the kayaks close by. For those of you on shore, I'd recommend watching the ice fishermen. When they venture out to open areas of the lake, it will probably hold the average pedestrian as well.

Remember to take care wherever warming current may run. The channels where we are located fill with warm roof runoff from the channel homes and flow the water along the west shore toward the damn. Add to that the radiant heat of the seawalls in the morning sun and you have a pretty threatening combination on a sunny day. As we found with sailing, sometimes the greatest danger lies just before making port. The last few steps can be pretty exciting.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Swans--How do they Know?

I suppose it just could be coincidence. Last year, our only sighting of Mute Swans in the heart of the lake (near Big Island) came the day before the lake froze over.

Sure enough, yesterday--a cold and crisp winter's day--we saw them again in the same location. Today we have Lake Manitou with a new top of winter ice.

This is tricky for us because we have a "do not miss" appointment tomorrow. Will the ice hold us?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Eagle has Landed!

Here is a great Mike Kenny photo.

Every morning my wife and I settle in the sun room with a cup of coffee and view the wonder of the lake waking up to a new day. Today was special. Swooping in from the North came a very, very large bald eagle. He came to a rest in the tree at the point deck, causing a very substantial limb to yield and bounce back with his weight. I couldn't help but think, "there's a dog in my tree--with wings!" What an unbelievable sight. As he left, I held my breath that our hunters on the South shore left the beer at home! Sure enough, no gun shots echoed as the eagle moved across the Elks.

I will always remember the view this morning--as the flag on the pole waved in the breeze and that beautiful eagle stood proudly in the line of sight in the point tree.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The First Snow

It's winter for sure. This is the first snow that stayed with us. All is new and clean and crisp again. My wife and I fled the snow for California when we were young. Now we are back again with a new appreciation for the changing seasons.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Big Piers are In

Today there is no mistaking the chill of winter. Yesterday was a different story--the last day of Indian Summer. The day before that we actually reached 72 degrees. The big piers are in now--as we protect them from the grind of the ice pack to come. The work was done courtesy of the Rochester Boat Company--comprised of a triple crew, a lift boat, and a 4-wheeler.

The work pier will remain until just before the ice forms--then it will be foot power with the kayaks on a tether just in case. It is good to walk on water!

Here's to a snug winter and the happy holidays to come!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stormy Weather

Yep. It's not all sunshine and birds singing. It's early morning now, with a promise of rain.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Beaver's Back

Lake Manitou lies quiet now. Treasure Island once again beckons to the beaver. If it isn't fenced--it's gone. This can do some good, as there's nothing like a beaver to clear away the overgrowth and brush of summer. Every once in awhile a bush falls prey. We tried using bird netting on this one, hoping the beaver wouldn't risk entanglement. Our mistake.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Clouds of Autumn

Around World Series time every year the skys light up. It isn't just the Fall color. Mother Nature puts on a show high in the clouds as well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halfway to Winter

Well, it looks to me like we are at the halfway mark in terms of Autumn. Many of the leaves have left the building, but we still have plenty left to fall.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn is Here

We have had the most amazing fall. We had just three days that you could even call "cold." The temperature overnight just brushed 32 degrees. The rest of the days have been shirtsleeve weather until yesterday. Still, the trees are turning as always. Growing up, I was always told that it took a good cold snap to set the color. Not so--and I'm posting the evidence! Treasure Island is filled with reds and yellows, and the shore is starting to turn as well. Now the weather is indeed getting brisker. Stay cozy and warm everyone.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Old Man and the Lake

There lived on the shore of Manitou an elderly gentleman. He dispensed bait and pier parts and other things a fisherman might need. His disposition was always sunny. One day my wife asked him if he had a secret to his longevity. He thought--and then with a smile--he said, "well, every morning I walk to the water's edge and look to the heavens and say, 'thank you Lord for this day.'" Today is one of those days on Manitou. We are into Indian Summer, the lake is a mill pond with just a bit of breeze. We are in our shirtsleeves, and are indeed thankful for this day.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The "Picture Window"

This is the smallest window in the house. When you are on an island--almost any window will give you a view as pretty as a picture.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Time to Brag a Little

This is a big day for us. We just made Kiplinger's List of the eleven most interesting islands. You can see us at We have some nice calls about the place and good conversations with folks from Los Angeles to Chicago. Thanks to everyone for their interest!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hot Air in a Beautiful Package

What can I say. When I see a balloon, I just have to post a picture. They are such a pretty sight.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Here are some pictures of the Rochester Boat Company in action at the Treasure Island Pier. Though the summer season is coming to a close, we are holding back a lift for Autumn use. The fishing is good and the Fall color is amazing. For those looking to rent--we are available.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why Rent an Island?

Decks for Relaxing

Room to Roam

In fact, lots of room to roam!

Pontoon for Pontooning

Places to watch the wildlife

Walks for Walking!
It occurred to me that what you really need if you're thinking about renting, are pictures of nothing. I'm so used to taking pictures of something that you've never really had a chance to view all the space that makes an island so much different than a shore side rental. So here is some space! If you like what you see, check out the availability calendar in the upper right and check in!


The title says it all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Turtle Time

It's that time of year. Turtles are everywhere, searching for a good spot to lay eggs. Unfortunately, all too often it's across a busy highway. Cars are not the only turtle problem these days. I see more and more evidence of prop damage as well. I saw one big one on the shore side with two big slices--I don't know how she survived. This one also has seen some rough times. She could have been nailed with a prop, or even been attacked by a dog. She must have accomplished her mission, as when I returned a few minutes later she was long gone.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


The wild daisies are back. Not quite the showing of past years--but always pretty.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Shore Side

The gang's all here! Now we know what happened to the geese around the island. They are living the good life on the shore. Here are some photographs of our shoreside this morning. The Wisteria covers the old bell pole. No need for signaling the island in this age of cell phones, so we made it into a trellis. As you can see, we had a pretty morning.