Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Around the Lodge

In an earlier post, Sue mentioned how prevalent the strawberries were. Now, the strawberries have faded off and made way for new berries: raspberries and blueberries. There are raspberries everywhere. I went picking for only about an hour the other day, and filled the Tupperware I’d brought. I hardly even had to go back into the woods; they line the roads and trails all over the property. If you’re camping, it’s blueberry pancakes in the morning. If you’re at the lodge, it’s ice cream with wild raspberries. Delicious.

One of the wildflowers blooming right now is fireweed. It is a long stalk of purple flowers that blooms from the bottom up. It’s called fireweed because it does really well in distressed areas, and is often one of the first plants to come up after a fire. I was showing this plant to a guest on a wildflower hike, when she told me about how the fireweed has always been known as a countdown to the end of summer. The bottom of the flower stalk begins to bloom in the beginning of the summer, then the blooms slowly move up the stalk as summer progresses. Seed pods form as new blooms open. I thought that this was a really cool way to naturally tell time, and wanted to pass it on. Right now, I would say that most of the fireweed blooms are about halfway up the stalk, or maybe a little more.

Ever since I had help from Dennis Todd, Fishin’ Fun has been a great success. We haven’t been skunked once yet, and I think that just about every kid that’s come has caught a fish. It’s been a great time. The kids caught a bunch of small mouth bass. They’re fighters. Twice we had the fish up to the boat when the line broke and it got away.

One other interesting event here at the lodge is the mayfly hatch. It happened just a couple weeks ago. Mayflies hatch in large quantities all at once. After living up to seven years in the water, they come out of the water and emerge as adults, living in this stage for only one day. As adults, they have transparent, oval shaped wings, and when they fly it is slightly haphazard but pretty. In the adult stage they do not even have mouths, as their purpose is solely to mate and lay eggs before they die. Mayflies have a funny life, as they are ugly bottom dwellers for so long before they emerge into something pretty, looking almost like a child ballerina, before they die.
Picture Info: (from top to bottom) The lodge, and new patio, at sunset; Justin and Kelly with their small mouth bass (Jacey and Jordan also caught fish); and a mayfly clinging to the dock.

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