Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18, 2013

This weekend featured the annual Lake Wicwas Paddle Regatta.
The 2013 Lake Wicwas Paddle Regatta
For 2013, participants paddled the shores of the lake searching for hidden clues - letters that when all were found spelled out "Lake Wicwas".  It was a fabulous day for the event - even a loon and a heron joined in the festivities.

After the hunt everyone congregated at the Maul's house for great food and fun on the bongo.
The Finish Line!

Bev and Blade were the master's of Ceremony, handing out the awards for the regatta.

The Winner!
The Mosquito Swatter Award
The Youngest and Oldest Paddlers
The Gracious Hosts

Early in the morning, before all the excitement began, I noticed a partial spider web catching the low sunlight just right, and looking closer, I saw it was a project under construction.

The tiny orb-weaver spider was meticulously weaving its web and didn't seem to mind my presence.  I watched as it worked its way around the web in a counter-clockwise direction, extruding a thin filament from its spinneret on the tip of its abdomen.  It used one of its legs to steer and place the fresh thread just where it wanted it. 

I was surprised by how quickly it moved;  I didn't think to time it, but it moved at least as fast as a second hand on a clock.  

When first formed, the protein-thread appeared almost transparent, and become more visible soon after it dried.  My guess is that it would take about half an hour to build the entire web, at which point it could sit back and wait for its "guests" to arrive.

For the allergy sufferers, the season is in full swing now, and the recent dry weather has allowed the pollen counts to spike.  Golden rod may not be a big allergen, but it is a visible indicator that pollen season is here.  I watch honey bees and bumble bees collecting pollen from the Goldenrod, as well as this Yellow and Black Wasp.
Yellow and Black Wasp

Recently, people have been noticing a group of seven loons swimming together on the lake.  I haven't heard any information about larger groups of loons form, but they have been here for a nice long visit.

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