Saturday, September 08, 2007

batty world

Camera remains intermittently broken. Bats cannot take care of all the bugs that are out there right now. Riding on the roof of the car is fun. The lake is too murky to swim in. Really, the mosquitoes are horrendous. Moonglow pears are back!

My day in a nutshell.

The Westside Community Market was the place to be if you wanted a real deal on the freshest and the most honest foods. Oh, I can rave about the corn, the oysters ‘shrooms, the soy beans. And the onions and the cukes. And the goat cheese. With garlic. And sticky buns. (All made it home with me). But the stars of today – moonglows. Unquestionably. Reason to celebrate. Get some in the next weeks. They’ll make the nonfunctional parts of your life suddenly appear like a piece of cake to zip through.

014 moonglow pears, copy

A good weather week-end.

I asked Ed to come up with a place for us to explore. Preferably with a smaller ratio of mosquitoes to person than 1,000,000 to 1. Oh, and not too far from Madison.

The man tried. He suggested Yellowstone Lake Park. (Yes! In Wisconsin.) Here’s a DNR blurb on it:

What makes Yellowstone Lake unique is the lack of mosquitoes and a glossy-eyed mammal with wings.
The 968-acre park is the summer home to more than 4,000 little brown bats. The bats roost in 31 bat houses throughout the park. The houses serve as nurseries, where the bats raise their pups.

The bats love a meal of mosquitoes. They'll eat the bugs and thereby we, the hikers will be spared. That's the theory. And it works, I'm sure, in periods of light mosquito infestation. For example, last month, when there were very few mosquitoes in Wisconsin, there were probably very very few mosquitoes at Yellowstone Lake.

We set out toward the park. Through backroads, where the photo ops were tremendous. I was especially thrilled with the view when Ed suggested I relocate to the roof of the car. (He explained that he traveled through Central America that way and the views from up there were better than great; I rode -- okay, crawled, okay, inched, okay, basically stood still -- a more modest distance of maybe 300 yards). Unfortunately, my Sony SLR, after a brief hiatus at the Repair Center in Texas last month, failed me yet again. Out of the several dozen shots (there's only so much time I will spend on the roof of a car), only one, the worst one, of that I am positive, came through:

053 hay, copy

Not that I knew this at the time.

At the Park, we inspected the bat houses. No action there. Ed tells me they’re sleeping. I’m thinking they better get with it. You don’t sleep through a grape harvest in France, you should not sleep through a mosquito invasion in Wisconsin.

058 bat homes, copy

We hiked. The camera worked, on and off. The bugs? I'm alive. That's all I'll say.

Here are some off photos from when the camera was on board with me. I know, I know, I have a note of bitterness and resentment. Don’t read too much into it. It was such a beautiful, warm and sunny day.

060 lake, copy

073 trail, copy

041 bird 2, copy

045 lake, copy