Monday, March 30, 2015

Treasure Island Swan

Here is a shot of a rare morning visitor.  A lone swan is a doubly rare sight around here.  If we see a swan, it is usually part of a group of two to five.  They are very shy of boat traffic, so we only see them on the main body of the lake in very late Autumn or very early Spring.  We are getting some fishing boats on the lake--so this is probably our last sighting.  We photographed this fellow as he glided along the front of the island en route to the channels.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Gang's All Here

Quite a gathering of feathered fellows on the lake the last few days.  The biggest rush at the suet feeder came with a spring blizzard.  I think the birds were stocking up just like we humans who were mobbing the super market.  Never know when a blizzard will take you out of play for a few days.

On top of that--we have the sea fowl coming in to take advantage of a bigger than usual fish kill on the lake.  Quite a mob of gulls down from Lake Michigan filling the air with their signature squawks.  Often the call is a way of saying "my turn" as a group of gulls gather around the fish carcass.  It's surprising how civilized they are about taking turns dining.

We also have three bald eagles joining in.  One mature and two most decidedly immature.  The young are scary ugly at that age--only a look a momma could love.

Then we have two loons, who seem to make a habit of calling by in the Spring and Fall for a week or two on their way to somewhere else.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Not Quite Parting the Red Sea

I think Moses and the Red Sea have us by a very wide margin here--but we were sure happy to find the great ice pack that is Lake Manitou parted just enough to get us through to shore. 

Prior to this we had been trapped by a most unusual form of ice--one that we had never seen before.  The ice--due to the warm weather--had lost all ability to carry weight on top.  However, it was still three inches thick, which meant you could not force a kayak either through it or over it.

The crystal structure of this ice was quite amazing to me.  Imagine the kind of prisms that hung from your grandma's lamp.  Now pack them all together vertically so they form an ice slab and you have Lake Manitou.  The prisms were not strongly attached, so they would collapse under weight--but each three inch prism had the beauty of a perfectly formed ice crystal three inches long with many sides.

As I write this two days later, we have the last gasp of the ice and a new Spring dawning for the lake. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015


I don't know about you--but I'm pretty darn sick of snow pictures taken at temps below zero.  We have an entire week coming up that is supposed to be above freezing.  May that be the end of it!

Here are a couple of pix of me making my way to the island from shore.

We'll be back in touch when we have something warmer to report!