Wednesday, December 10, 2014

T'is the Season

Here is an abstract using the Treasure Island Christmas lights.  We have the bushes done up--which probably nobody can see but us.  We did a little tree on the channel side for our neighbors across the water.  And...the flagpole has a nice spin of white lights that should be visible from shore.  We hope that the pole serves as a beacon--so that all of us with far flung families might guide them home for the holidays--at least in spirit.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Say What?

Here is another little island friend in winter--the Nuthatch.  He loves to hang upside down on the side of a tree--and I obviously interrupted him in mid-peck.  This is one tough customer to photograph, as he's always on the move.  His favorite trick around here is to grab a sunflower seed, and then fly to a tree trunk to cache it under some loose bark.  A snack for later, I guess.  If you've ever heard the call of a Nuthatch--you would agree that he is appropriately named--as it sounds as if it came from something that was indeed in a nutty place.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Salute to the Coot


Well, we have a nice pair of bald eagles patrolling the lake--and Mike Kenny reports that a very large group of swans were spotted.  The island has been graced with blue jays, cardinals, and a big bunch of gold finches in their muted winter plumage.  Among this great diversity of colorful birds sits the lowly coot.  I never gave them much regard till now. 

I've watched them for five winters now--patiently making their way from Rain Creek to Big Island in the dusk, and then returning in the early morning.  A group of American coots is called a "raft." and that indeed is what they look like as they travel tightly bunched--perhaps to look like a bigger creature when viewed from above or below.  Perhaps, instead, the ones in the middle are simply safer as predators work the edges. They move in silence, their raft getting bigger and bigger until it extends nearly from Big Island all the way to Rain Creek in late winter.  I have no idea where they come from or where they go at other times of the year--but they've become pretty good company here.

The photograph above is the exception to the rule. A small bunch appeared at the east shore of the island a bit ago.  The lake had a sudden freeze to ice, and they were able to find open water there as the rising sun on the concrete sea wall radiated heat to the water.  Soon the ice departed and I now look for their normal travels to resume.

The recent ice was a trial.  We spent three hours chopping our way to shore as the ice was too thin to hold weight but thick enough that it took constant pounding with bash poles to make very slow progress.  We had a place to be Saturday morning and nature had no regard for our schedule.  Now the water is open and now we needn't be anywhere in a hurry--such is the irony of life.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter's Here

Something called the Omega effect.  Initiated by a storm off the Alaskan Coast.  It dropped the jet stream far south and opened the refrigerator door.  It was 17 degrees this morning.  The good news--the sun is shining and we got the big and little piers, pontoon, and little boat motor under cover before the blast hit us.  Now we can either curse the cold--or enjoy the light of a bright Winter's Day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Autmn's Last Harrah

This is the last gasp of color on the island--the other trees are bare.  The Fall came with a flurry of dropping leaves this year--all over in a matter of days.  No two years are ever alike here. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Walk in the Woods

Thanks to the foresight of Judy Burton, Lake Manitou has a gem on the south shore--the Burton Nature Preserve.  A wonderful tract of wild grasses and woods--just right for a walk on a crystal clear Autumn day.





Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Button Up Your Overcoat. And if You're a Squirrel....

Our young squirrel has it right--curl up that tail as it's cold outside!  Forty-five degrees a couple of days ago and now struggling toward sixty degrees again.  We're holding on to summer by our fingernails--winter seems just around the corner now.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

First Hint of Autumn

Treasure Island is in the first days of Fall....

But you'll not convince the skiers!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer Nights


There may not be too many summer nights left.  The forecast calls for highs only in the 60's next week.  We'll enjoy them while we can!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Keeping Cool

Well--we had what may be the last hot day of summer yesterday--pushing 90 degrees.  Enough to make a squirrel seek out a nice cool stump.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Whopper!

You think my wife might still enjoy fishing after all these years?  This fella was caught off the sea wall last night around dusk.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

T'was the Night after Labor Day, and All Through the Lake.....

..not a watercraft was stirring--not even one wake!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

After the Rain

A little soggy around here lately.  We found that some things around the island didn't mind a bit.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peace Reigns

We got a good buy on bird feed--so we've been a bit lavish with the goodies of late.  This has practically eliminated the scrapping at the feeders--everyone is content.  This is a good development for the Goldfinch's as they nest late in the year.  The flock of sparrows seems to be passing through--guess they are bulking up for flying.  As to the ducks--give them a sunflower seed and they'll follow you anywhere!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ah love...

If I understand correctly, these giant moths only have a day to find a soul mate--and then they die.  All the previous days of their life being spent as lowly caterpillars.  The odds were made a little worse this day as I almost ran over them with the lawn mower--they look a lot like leaves from a distance.  However--all's well that ends well and we expect to be seeing more of these beautiful moths in the future.

Friday, August 1, 2014

They're Back! Treasure Island is in Bloom

The hibiscus always put in a thoughtful appearance at the time of my birthday (70 years--ouch!).  So far it's not the carpet of blooms seen in prior years--perhaps the wonderfully mild summer has taken some of the zing out--or perhaps it has just delayed things a bit.  Still--they are quite a sight.  I suppose someone must have planted them at one time, but we have been here for eighteen years now, and they were here long before us.  They have done some traveling around the lake and we now have a nice colony at the shore side pier as well.  Enjoy!