Lake has come alive again

    Last weekend was the first real weekend of summer, where the sounds of families stretched and echoed across the lake.
    On Saturday night, as the sun was setting, a jet arched across the sky carrying the faint orange trail of sunlight as it headed southeast. In the background, I could hear the drone of countless boats racing home before the sun had set.
    When the sun had set, the deep rumble of a train passing behind Rocky Islet, and its whistle, were heard, and then the day moved to stillness.
    The soft wind from the southwest died. The lake was calm. And in the northeast, a thunderhead grew tall and caught the last smattering of sun in its uppermost billows.
    A tree toad began its gurgling, and soon from three different directions you could hear toads answer one another. Lights from bulbs and gas lanterns began dotting the shorelines.
    Earlier this year, those cabins had remained black.
    All day Saturday families had been active. The Tibbs across the lake were teaching their children to water-ski. They circled out from their beach and dock into relatively calm water as their children gained confidence and a rooster tail of water rose behind the skiers.
    Someone else had their boat porpoising while his or her children screamed in delight from the tube it was pulling. The soft silky water of Rainy Lake had warmed up and everyone was enjoying it.
    Saturday morning, I went fishing with my sister and brother-in-law. We left early to avoid the heat of the day and fished around islands just a short distance from our cottage.
    We were after smallmouth bass, but were excited to catch anything—and were not disappointed.
    The highlight of the morning was not the fishing, but the four bald eagles that appeared over the channel near French’s Island. One swooped down over the water and grabbed the back of a fish sunning itself on the surface.
    As the eagle began climbing back up into the sky, the fish wrestled itself free from the talons and plummeted back into the water. The eagle immediately spun back, but the fish had reached safety.
    The other three eagles began crisscrossing that patch of water while their crackling voices sounded their displeasure at the loss of the fish. After a few minutes of fruitless search, they settled into the upper branches of nearby pine trees and continued their bickering.
    Other boats were out fishing reefs and shorelines along the lake.
    Friends from St. Louis, Richard Morris and Bill Anderson, arrived for their week of fishing at Coppen’s Resort. One of their favourite haunts is called Studebaker Island, found in the canoe route through the Brule Narrows.
    The island is home to an old ’56 or ’57 Studebaker. The car’s body is beginning to rust, but the chrome bumpers and chrome around the windows continues to shine as if someone is constantly polishing it.
    The area—with lots of current, reefs, and grass—produces some great bass and the waters seem to have the same clarity as does the north arm of Rainy Lake.
    Our friends, the Pedeskys from LaCrosse, had been on the island for a whole week and headed home Saturday night for a week of work but are returning in about 10 days for another week on the lake.
    Their cabin will not go unused, though, as other family members were unloading groceries for a stay as the Pedeskys pulled away from the dock.
    The lake has come alive again with families and friends after having been asleep since last September.

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