Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lake Superior Moon Walk

Yesterday, in the unyooperish heat, I had to go swimming. It was honestly the only thing a person could do comfortably outside. I decided to try a new hole off a north-facing shore.

I have swum in Lake Manganese. It's sandy and weedy. It used to be a marsh, they say. I have swum in Lake Fanny Hooe. It's quite rocky -- jagged rocks that fill the bottom and drop quickly into deep water. I've gone in a couple parts in the Harbor. They have smooth, slick stones on variable depths. I have also gone in other places right into Lake Superior. Bete Gris, Great Sand Bay and Keystone Bay all gradually submerge a body on a sandy shore.

But where I want yesterday was like the moon.

I shouldn't lead you on to think that I have actually been on the moon. I have not. I have seen pictures of the surface and watched video clips of how an astronaut bounces from one foot to the next over that uneven surface. That is exactly how the lake floor was.

If I didn't look down while walking, I could stub a toe, bang a knee or fall in above my head without warning. And with the buoyancy effect in the water, the result was quite moonlike.

At one point (and this is my favorite) I was treading along, looking down. What did I see? A huge boulder in my path. Huge! If I hadn't been looking, I would have slammed my whole body into it. Instead, I was able to approach it at a good angle, and climb onto it. With my shins and the rest of me above the water, I stood up in the middle of the lake and yelled to Duce, "Come on in, chicken! I can touch here!" But he wasn't having any of it. He rolled in the rocks instead.

Then I just swam around in the glorious sunshine. (The sun was only glorious because I was engulfed in cool water.) Oh, I didn't want it to end. I saw quartz veins run below me. And I watched the landscape change with every foot. It was one small step for this girl, but a giant leap for my sanity.

And a note on today, I saw two pileated woodpeckers pecking together in the same tree. I have never seen two together before. Here is a picture for you. Yes, I actually took a picture! You can see them on each side of the tree. The one on the right is showing its red mohawk.

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