Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sixth Day Observations

Our sixth (and last full) day in Vermilion started off in a unique way.

The sun was out!

So *that's* what Lake Erie looks like when it isn't cloudy or foggy or raining. Who knew?

I don't know if it was the good weather or the fact that it was Saturday or both that brought out this interesting batch of boaters but I'm glad they wasted no time getting out there - the clouds returned by early afternoon:

My S.O. waved to the people on the last boat as they passed by. They didn't wave back. Is waving a violation of nautical etiquette?

How sad if it is.

But not as sad as drawing gunfire would have been.

The local gull couple seemed to be enjoying the nice weather while it lasted, too:

They did seem a bit irritated when a certain interloper showed up, however:

I expected to see many more gulls than we in fact saw. They were around, but only intermittently, and only in ones and twos. I think I've seen more gulls in some parking lots at home than I saw in Vermilion. The herons seemed to be somewhat more common - not what I would have guessed.

Of course not every creature we saw enjoyed the sunshine as much as we did....

This was the only dead fish I saw the entire week we were at the lake. Part of me had been afraid that we would see little else.

We watched this guy come rolling in on the waves. When I got a bit tired of wondering exactly where he would end up, I grabbed him by the tail and dragged him up on the beach away from the waves. I estimated he was about 18-24" long and between 5 and 10 pounds. Alas, it wasn't long before he started reeking and attracted a *lot* of flies, so I used a rake to throw him back in. We thought the waves might bring him right back but they didn't. Instead, they more or less steadily carried him away until we lost sight of his bobbing corpse as it rounded the pier to our east. How odd that the lake can be so mercurial, quickly taking back what it had just given. It was a phenomenon I noticed several times....

A bit of research led me to conclude that our recently deceased fish buddy had probably been what's called a sheepshead (also known as a freshwater drum because of the sound its bladder makes).

Other dead sheepshead provided my S.O. with one of her most cherished of beach treasures: Lucky stones. Despite having never heard of them before our trip, we managed to collect about 24 of these ear bones (or otoliths) on the beach once we learned from a friend what to look for. Each one was more or less the size of my little finger's fingernail and each one seemed to have either an L or a J etched into it (hence the name).

Saturday morning I found two in quick succession.

I doubt that they came from the same fish.

Too bad each and every one signifies the death of a fellow living creature.

And as with rabbit's feet, these stones don't seem to have been very lucky for the creatures they belonged to....

Before the good weather faded away, I managed to get an especially clear photo of the Huron skyline:

I also managed to get this final shot of Cedar Point:

If you look closely, you can see the cars on the roller coasters to the right.

After we got tired of playing with the dead fish parts on our private beach we decided to drive over to the public beach in Huron and see what was happening over there.

The answer was - not much.

Here was the highlight of our visit:

That pretty much sums up the role of government here since the Republicans took control of the state in January.

If present trends continue, look for this sign to be taken down so it can be sold for scrap and the proceeds then given in the form of a tax break to those making over $200,000 a year.

Our final sunset in Vermilion - for this year, anyway:

Now the question is, Which one of these shots should I get blown up big enough to cover an entire wall of my living room before November?


  1. Are you serious about making wallpaper from a picture?
    My only suggestion is don't use the dead fish.
    It puts the Ick in Ichthyology

  2. Juicy this?
    The strainer turns out to be much smaller than I was expecting. I thought it would be like the one my mother used all my life with metal handles and metal legs, making him look sort of like Uncle Martin in My Favorite Martian.
    Instead it's more like a yarmulke.

  3. To the inhabitants of the "Quick Question" - Why be so rude?

    And as to which of these pictures, I say the send to last one! :-) (I like them all, and would say the last, except that it's not horizontally oriented.) It's striking how different the color of the water looks, depending upon the weather.... I really like color of the blue water. :-)

  4. Oy vey... that should have said, "I say the second to last one!" I just knew I'd become garbled at that hour, but I couldn't help myself faced with nature's awe-inspiring beauty!

  5. Has enough research been done to warrant confidence that Galileo gave us the finger in the jar in this story?


  6. And do you believe in this?