It's been a pretty wet summer through much of the midwest, and that was evident by the prevalence of impressive fungi around the cabin. This specimen was at least 40cm across.
A tale of two woods. These two groves of trees were right next to each other, but they couldn't have been more different in some ways. They were both hand-planted many years ago by people who had this fanciful idea of eventually harvesting them for firewood. I am probably misquoting him here, but my father-in-law once said, "trees are planted by optimists." There were a few minor flaws in their grand plan for these trees. First, there was rather a slow return on investment (trees take awhile to grow). Secondly, they were on a small island with a limited market for firewood. Of course there was always the option of harvesting the wood and taking it to the mainland, but the added cost of shipping from this remote area would have taken a pretty big bite out of their profits.
So now there are a couple groves of trees standing at curiously regular intervals.
The trees were spaced out a bit more in this grove, which I thought of as the Grove of Light. It was a cheerful place with chirping birds and nattering squirrels.
I nicknamed this one Murkwood. I played with the camera settings a bit to emphasize the relative lightness and darkness of the groves, but this one really was a very gloomy stand of trees.
The neighbour has a farm where he keeps a few mares. They were a little skittish until they discovered that we had brought some apples and carrots with us.
This scenic wetland is fed by spill-over from Lake Superior...
...and is home to a variety of water fowl...
...including this hawk who caught herself a couple of snacks while we watched.
There was a very nice beach down the slope from the cabin. The lake water was very cold, but bearable once you acclimated to it. We spent an hour or so swimming in it the first day, but on the second day a chilly wind picked up from the north-east. We considered jumping into the 4' swells sweeping in, but it was just too damn cold. This picture is from the first (much calmer) day. As you can see, the neighbour's dog was keeping the beach safe from wayward gulls.
Later in the first day we retired back to the beach to warm ourselves by a fire and roast some hot dogs and marshmallows.
The northern lights made an appearance for us as well. The lights on the horizon are camp fires on a neighbouring island, and a few boats parked off the shore.
There was also an old Norwegian-style barn on the property, which harboured (among other things) this rusty old wood stove.
An old, derelict row boat is slowly surrendering to the elements. That's Lake Superior in the background.