Our Days on the Lake
Looking like feathered dinosaurs, wild turkeys stroll down the path each morning in hopes of a breakfast of leftover bread. These large birds make a pleasant, trilling sound contradicting their strange looks. Their pace quickens as they reach the water and a cool drink.
The lake sparkles in the bright sunshine as a light West wind swirls across the water. Another perfect day! As we trek to our boat, tiny striped chipmunks scurry across the path and tufted-eared red squirrels can be heard in the trees plotting their mischievous deeds. Brightly colored hummingbirds dart in and out of the many trees lining our path and multi-winged dragonflies zip along as though wanting to join their fun.
A deep breath of fresh, fragrant air followed instantly by a huge smile is the usual start to our days on the lake. The wind musses our hair as we speed along the water on our way to a favorite fishing spot. Racing past familiar landmarks, we slow as we approach the thick weed beds where bass and pike are known to lurk ambushing passing prey. By presenting brightly colored lures and glitter-infused rubber worms, we are able to trick these mighty finned predators into a trip to the lake's surface for a brief time as they are hooked and fight furiously. They are rewarded for their roles in this watery combat by a rapid return to the green depths of the lake, existing above water only as a tally on our score sheet.
Puffy, white clouds seem to have talked the sun into playing a game of hide and seek, while we, rods in hand, happily play a similar game with the fish. Majestic bald eagles soar overhead searching for a pine tree limb to rest on and observe the goings on. The woods become alive with chattering and bird calls warning of the great winged intruder. The eerie song of a loon is carried on the wind and can be heard above all other woodland sounds as it echoes across the water. Graceful deer have been seen swimming across the lake but today we spy an antler-crowned buck simply lounging on the shoreline in the late summer sun. Letting the wind gently and silently push us along, we drift by him, camera in hand to capture this amazing scene. The prince of the forest grants this favor then rises and walks into the dense woods. Suddenly a bass breaks the water leaping high into the air. An accurate cast has found him lurking in the rocks along the shady shoreline. Reeling him in prompts a lively dance across the water ending in an unforeseen leap into the net. His length and girth are discussed long after the return to his happy place.
Splashes of red and yellow among the dark green pines announce Autumn's plans for the transformation soon to come. Multicolored trees against a deep blue sky seem a fitting addition to the beauty of this lake. As we leisurely motor along, we try to imagine these colorful changes and then the glory of this landscape blanketed in ice and snow.
But for now the ghost-eyed walleye is what we seek. Darting back and forth as he races up from the deep, teasing us with flashes of his golden scales, makes him our number one quarry. Inviting coves beckon us to join the sleek, brown beaver swimming lazily along, belying his industrious nature. His tree felling skills are unparalleled. His lodge home of sticks and branches is a true work of ingenuity.
As we drift along, shelves of rock can be seen in the sunlit waters just below the surface. Huge white logs of fallen birch trees, like long fingers waiting to grab your fishing line, are scattered on the shallow lake bottom. While flicking our shiny lures into these perfect hiding places, we realize that skill and luck must combine to coax the wary fish to bite. A tiny striped perch is the only taker of my bait which turns out to be bigger than him! Movement on the water a short distance away grabs our attention. A small group of Mergansers, deep diving ducks, are playing together, bobbing then diving beneath the water's surface like small children playing in a pool dunking each other. Grey bodies and brownish, spikey head feathers give these ducks a charming and comedic look.
A countless variety of bird calls resound through the woods but rarely do we spy the singers of these raucous tunes. Only the black and white loon seems to want recognition for the lovely song he sings as the hours pass.
Early evening brings cool breezes and a dramatic change in illumination as the woods take on a mysterious look. Darkness will no longer invite the long, searching gazes into those woods that were such a pleasure in the bright sunlight. Now we fear we may actually catch a glimpse of the night creatures rising from their slumber to search for prey.
The setting sun tints the wispy clouds pink and purple. Soon the sky is ablaze with vivid oranges, reds and yellows as the waters of the lake reflect this breathtaking light show. This is truly one of the most spectacular sights in Nature.
Here and there we catch sight of glowing campfires in the fading light. Grey smoke drifts over the water and the acrid smell of burning wood taints the air. The stars begin to peek out prompting us to stay out on the water to watch the coming night sky light up with an equally beautiful light show. We revel in the cool air and color filled evening as we think back on our day on the lake. Many of our brightly colored lures are permanent decorations among the rocks and one is attached to a sunken anchor never to be seen again.We fished all our favorite coves, Big Black Bay, Colonel's Island and The Narrows but those wily fish kept the tally low no matter how clever our tactics seemed. It was an exciting day full of wonderful activities, sights and sounds. As we finally dock our boat our thoughts turn to a cup of coffee and homemade cookies, the perfect ending to our perfect day on the lake.
Peg Moore / September,2015