Lake life is unhurried

It is a Friday morning, and the sun and the rain keep drifting across the sky. The forecast calls for a mixture of sun and rain all day.
As I sit in the sunroom of our cabin, I can’t help but think of the tune “Circle of Life” from the Disney movie, “The Lion King.”
Our pair of loons that have nested on the rock outcropping about 300 metres from our shore have failed to return this year. We miss them, although we do hear the plaintive calling of a loon in the distance in the evening.
Last Tuesday, the bay was full of year-old schools of minnows. One of them probably had more than 500 minnows swimming in rhythm, moving in slow, wave-like patterns up and down and side to side until frightened by a shadow above, and breaking and turning instantly from the shadow.
Over in the corner in about a metre of water, a male smallmouth bass was guarding a nest fending off predators. Another much smaller bass was sitting under the dock—probably targeting one of those schools of minnows that passed by.
A pair of mallards must be nesting in the bay as they explode out of the corner regularly. I suspect the walking on the dock frightens them.
We saw the first merganser with a brood of chicks last Thursday morning. They were still furry little creatures and this mother only had four chicks tagging along.
Something happened on the island over the long winter. The huge numbers of red squirrels that ran around and chatted up everything last year seemed to have disappeared.
I don’t miss their constant scolding but their busyness was always a wonder. Pine cones have been falling, and there is no squirrel to grab them and run off and hide their contents.
There also are no piles of shredded cones left on the deck or stairs as a reminder that they live year-round here.
My eldest son is home and we have fished on three days. The first couple of expeditions were simply to catch fish, and we saw lots of action in Grassy Portage Bay and the upper end of Rice Bay.
We seemed to catch everything—walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass.
Then on Thursday, we targeted smallmouth bass and struggled to find fish. The wind made boat control difficult and success was limited.
We had a fish fry with friends last Wednesday night and the guts from the cleaned fish attracted three bald eagles, a half-dozen crows, and black vulture. All took pieces and flew off to nests nearby, then returned quickly for second and third portions.
When the eagles showed up, the crows moved away—giving the eagles space to grab the food. The vulture didn’t seem bothered by the eagle, however.
Songbirds begin talking shortly after four in the morning and chirp all day long while tree toads lull you to sleep at night. We notice things that we don’t see in town.
Life at the lake is unhurried and peaceful.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail