Devoe Lake’s Summer Gift

Every summer for the last number of years in the company of friends I’ve made a fishing pilgrimage to the Rifle River Recreation Area in Michigan. On this year’s trip, like most recently, many  fish were caught and released. Only six hours north of our home in central Ohio, it’s a special place where nesting Loons can be seen. While paddling it’s not uncommon to have one surface nearby or to see other wildlife not far away. The Loons are unique in their nesting requirements and are certainly there because no motors are allowed on any of the lakes in the park. If you want to fish, or just explore, it must be under your own power.


Loons, Devoe Lake


Areas of the country that are privileged to have four seasons, unfold like a flower in spring and summer only to experience a fiery death during the shorter, colder, red, and yellow days of fall. Devoe Lake is such a place, where the beauty of spring and summer is not ours for long, where for a brief time under blue skys and puffy white clouds one witnesses the sights and sounds of birds, insects, and wildflowers as life is celebrated. A place where a quiet observer may see a Loon attentively feeding her young as dragonflies, or even a Bald Eagle, fly overhead and where a Kingbird and Green Heron may be seen perched in a tree at waters edge while somewhere further down the lake the raucous call of a Kingfisher is heard.


The strikingly beautiful flower of the Grass-of-Parnassus common along the shore of Devoe Lake


Early morning, Devoe Lake.


A typical catch on Devoe Lake. Many fish show evidence of having been previously caught.


Prized for their good taste and seeming abundance a successful Devoe Lake fisherman shows of his catch of 35 Bluegill. In recent years with the rise in popularity of kayak fishing and more sophisticated boats, often equipped with fish finders and GPS, such catches are a lot easier and undoubtedly more common on Devoe. On a lake that’s less than a mile long and one half mile wide one can’t help wondering if such good times will last.


A Red Spotted Purple visits our campsite, Devoe Lake rustic campground.



Reflecting the rays of the low sun against a gray sky, a Kingbird waits for an insect to fly by, Devoe Lake.


Just be taking a break? A juvenile Green Heron perches high in a tree at waters edge, Devoe Lake.


Paddling under gray skies and clouds that threaten rain, Devoe Lake.


Bald Eagles along the shoreline of Devoe Lake


Return just a few months later and this unique beauty will be gone. No wildflowers will grace the shoreline of the lake. Rain, whether falling quietly or pounding to accompaniment of lightning and the sound of thunder, will have given way to the silence of the seasons first snow. At night the call of the Eastern Whip-poor-will will not be heard. The lake’s blue surface will not dance to the beat of an ever changing breeze and Painted Turtles will not cruise the clear depths below your canoe. It will be quiet except for the wind as it moves through now bare branches. The sky will more often be gray and the water now solid, unmoving, and partially covered in white, will reflect it’s color.


Morning sun and mist, Devoe Lake.


No matter the season Devoe Lake gives of it’s beauty sparingly and then takes it away leaving one to wait restlessly for another year.  The fleeting days of summer are no exception.


Thanks for stopping by.

5 Comments on “Devoe Lake’s Summer Gift

  1. Bob, You are a thoughtful writer painting a beautiful scenario with words. A rare gift, gentle and human and I look forward to receiving it.

    • There is no trail along the shore but there are several places that one could beach a small boat and explore the immediate area. There are an amazing variety of wildflowers a number of which we don’t have in Ohio.

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