Posted on August 21, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, kayak fishing, Michigan, Michigan State Parks, nature writing, photography, Rifle River Recreation Area, Wildflowers Tagged: Bald Eagle, Bluegill, Common Loon, Devoe Lake, Eastern Kingbird, Grass-of-Parnassus, Green Heron, Hornbeck Canoe, Large Mouth Bass, Red-spotted Purple
Posted on August 17, 2015
Every year for the past ten or so we’ve travelled from central Ohio to the northeast part of Michigan’s lower peninsula for a few days of “catch and release” fishing.
Although certainly providing it’s own challenges and excitement, it not so much about the fishing as just being there. We’re “Up North” after all, a special place for many of us who grew up further south.
“Up North” magic; perhaps it’s a quiet misty morning with a distant Loon’s call or the long trail of splashes as it slowly accelerates running, flying, then finally, after what seems like way to long, breaking the water’s hold. At night it may be the call of a Barred Owl or the laugh of a coyote. Unlike past years, this year the Whippoorwills were quiet as the sky darkened just after sunset, replaced later by the silent flashes of light from the Perseid meteor shower.
As if from an upstream lake or adjacent woods, magic finds it’s way to the river, it’s clear water flowing silently over sand and smooth rocks, interrupted occasionally by green.
Occasionally an insect or a flower becomes the magic, seemingly more vivid and clear than it would be nearer to home.
Late in the day, the wind gone, the lake’s surface creates a canvas of light, shadow, and sky.
Again we are left with memories that sustain imagination and dreams until next year’s trip north.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, kayak fishing, Michigan, nature, Rifle River Recreation Area, waterfowl, wildlife Tagged: AuSable River, Common Loon, Devoe Lake, Green Heron, Largemouth Bass, Lobelia kalmia, Rapala, Rifle River, Slime mold, Smallmouth Bass, Vesper Bluet, Wacky Rigg, White Tail Deer, White-faced Meadowhawk
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