Today was the calm before the storm - a beautiful, calm, peaceful day - the complete opposite of what Hurricane Irene will bring to Lake Wicwas tomorrow.
Someone has already started to lower the lake to provide a larger reservoir for flood control, and the lake is down about six inches. It looks like that will be corrected soon enough....
The beech trees are having a good crop this year, as there are many nuts around the bases of the trees. This is good news for the black bears, as beechnuts are one of their favorite foods. Look at the trunks of the beech trees to see if there any claw marks where a bear has climbed up to collect the nuts right off the branches. The first acorns have also started to fall.
The foxes are also enjoying the summer harvest, as their diet has turned mostly vegetarian, giving the mice a chance to build up their population for the winter feeding season. The fox scat is showing evidence of lots of seeds and berries.
But some animal is still killing for its meals. I found this collection of coarse gray fur on the ground; it's not clear what animal it came from, or what the event was, but it looks like something met its demise at this spot.
The water in Lake Wicwas remains very clear, although the surface was covered today with thousands of black flying insects. The fish were having a feast this morning, but by afternoon the insects were all dead. Kayaking today revealed many hazards to boat props, mostly near the shore: leftover logs lost during logging many years ago that are floating back up to the surface. Beware!
I also saw this very rare bird species at the south end of the lake.