Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Mellow Day

Chuck's been grilling and putting Caribbean Jerk sauce on everything lately. Here he's grilling chicken and some banana peppers I'm growing this year. The cat actually doesn't mind a little jerk sauce on her share, although we try to avoid giving any to her - I read somewhere that cats don't feel spicy food because they are carnivores, and peppers developed their heat to keep away the herbivores. We had a Lake Ida day today - took a long walk, deflated all the floaties, organized the garage, enjoyed a long boat ride around the lake, kayaked, put the paddle boat away. It seems we spent half the summer getting ready to play on the lake, and those hot days never came. No, there were 2 of them. Now we're putting the lake toys away. Here's some video taken on the north side of Pilgrim's Point. We'd just gone around the sandbar into the bigger part of the lake. It was a relaxing day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Late Summer

We went for a walk down Sahara Lane this morning, and it was a cold clean Canadian wind coming off of the lake. Goldenrod is blooming everywhere, so allergy sufferers are in misery.

But not the bees.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Acorn Season

We've been shoveling acorns at home, swept from the patio and driveway. It was a bumper crop this year. That's supposed to predict a hard winter, but probably just is an indication that the pollinization of the acorns last spring went well.

Here at Lake Ida, I was watching this little squirrel go around the yard and bury acorns for later in the winter. It's so cute how they pat down the soil with their little paws after they finish burying one.

Friday, August 21, 2009


It's fun to walk through the yard now, with all this rain, the frogs are hopping everywhere. There was a big Northern Leopard Frog that I tried to chase down, just to take its photo for Haylie - she loves frogs. But as I chased it through the yard, and down the hill, it beat me to the lake, and disappeared into the rocks. The neighbor asked what I was doing. All of this year's tadpoles are over by the little settling pond on the other side of the road, now little frogs. I'll have to try to photograph them tomorrow maybe.
But here's a photo of a leopard frog from the internet. (When my niece Jessie was little, she thought we were calling them Leprechauns. It was so cute.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Douglas County Fair, Alexandria

The Douglas County Fair is this week. I found this great photo on the internet, showing the fairgrounds, the racetrack, at the top, Lake Cowdry on the right with Taylor and Stoney, Lake Latoka on the left, the tank farm. It's the same every year, but still fun to go and see the exhibits I've seen since I was a kid - the giant water tap under the grandstand, 4H exhibits, even the "baby rattlers" in the Viking Sportsmen's building. They are something like this, where you look into the box and see: baby rattlers. I like to stand there and watch other people fall for it.

Lake Ida August Sunset

I went out in my Hobie kayak at sunset. After two days of very windy weather, it was so quiet on the the lake. Just a few fisherman, including my neighbor Duane and his kids.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bass Fishing and Boat Safety

We've always been more inclined to feed fish from the end of the dock than to catch them. All those odd hot dog buns and bread crusts work fine for that. Leftover leeches (that white styrofoam container in the fridge after a fishing weekend) worked great when the bass came around to see why the sunnies were so excited. So we get a little irritated when the bass boats come quietly cruising by with their electric motors, getting their lines and lures tangled in the boat lift, trying to catch our fish friends.

When we were kids, the strict rule was, SIT DOWN IN THE BOAT. The Minnesota state quarter design was criticized when it was selected because it broke two rules of safe boating. Sit down and wear a life jacket. I agree. Here's a boat going by today. One of them did catch a nice bass underneath Duane and Betty's willow tree that overhangs the water. But they released it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

August Sunrise

This is one of those days that Andrea and I used to get up and just put on our swimsuits. No point in picking out any other outfit, until we were waterlogged and sun-soaked. It's coffee time on the dock.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Taryn's Class Reunion

Chuck and I never seem to be in a photo together, so before the class reunion, since we were presentable, was a good opportunity.

Jody and I greeted people at the door. It was a fun time.

Friday, August 7, 2009


The great thing about being at Lake Ida is that there are always new nature things to see. My Wildlife of North America book really gets a workout. I woke up to this bird yesterday morning. I had never seen this type of bird up close before, and thought it was so strange - it sat there with its wings open to the morning sun. Later I went down on the dock, and my kayak and the platform were covered in bird ock (as my mother used to call it). Then I find these two quotes online:
"The cormorant's feathers lack oil for waterproofing, which enables it to swim underwater, propelled by its webbed feet. Because its feathers get wet, cormorants are frequently seen sunning on rocks with their wings outspread."
But this one was the clincher for identifying it:
"Just look for the white crap covering everything and killing the trees and you will likely find cormorants."
I had just washed my kayaks the day before. Yuck.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The cool summer (which continues this week) has been good for the flowers. Here are some astilbe from my yard, petunias, and Canada thistle, not from my yard!

Alexandria Lake Cottages Tour

Yesterday was a field trip day. Pam, Betty and I, neighbors here at Lake Ida, went to the Lake Cottages tour, a fundraiser for Elder Network. We saw so many cute ideas and interesting things, that it's hard to remember all of them. Here was one garden idea - you'd have to have a very tolerant neighbor if this was your idea of a fence. Betty and I looked at each other and laughed. It won't be happening between our yards.