A stolen slice of summer

We stole a slice of summer Wednesday night, which felt exactly right.

With just hours of July to spare, we snuck out of the city and headed north toward tranquility. By 6 p.m. we were on the river and we let its current drift us home, to our cabin that, shockingly, I had seen just one other time this whole crazy, busy summer.


A froggy croak-chorus provided a summer serenade. Soon, the geese and turkeys joined in. Our young companion tested the river’s echo with increasing vigor, which should have, but did not bother a mellow duck family enjoying an evening paddle a few yards downstream.

That perfect river float would have been enough. But, because I always get a little freaked out when the calendar flips to August and I worry I have not seized all that summer in Wisconsin has to offer, we snuck a little more time.

I took a very brief photo walk through the woods, ran into a standing black bear on the southeast corner of our pond, acknowledged our mutual surprise and then cautiously ceded the woods to him. (I briefly considered claiming the path as my own, but quickly talked myself out of that foolishness. Besides, whom am I, really, to say that land is mine when all the deer, turkeys, eagles, bob cats, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, porcupines, beavers and owls I’ve spotted on my roams there say otherwise?)  

Later, we lounged around a snapping campfire under a million stars made visible by the black moon I learned about that day. Coyotes sang out a yippy, howling melody, which doesn’t always happen, and I felt properly welcomed home.

In the morning, I treated myself to another river show as I watched the rising sun chase away a cool morning mist.


I drove back to town with my top down. The only traffic obstructing my morning commute came by way of a trio of deer that scampered across the road in front of me.

In the end, we spent 14 hours in the magical place we Wisconsinites call “Up North”, just enough to time to send off July properly and welcome August with gratitude and anticipation.

Stay a little while, summer. We need you.

I enjoy the spectacle of the sun setting on the red barns of rural Wisconsin. We saw this on our evening drive up to the cabin.
Even more, I enjoyed the morning show as the rising sun chased the mist off the river.
I treated myself to the full show before I headed back up to the cabin to begin my day.
On my walks, I startled some of the year-round residents, including these deer. Most of the animals stared me down, especially the standing black bear I saw but, regretfully, did not photograph well (due to my fear of getting eaten).
We stayed the night so we could enjoy a campfire under a gorgeous starry sky made even more beautiful by the black moon I read about earlier in the day. What I learned is that black moons are the second new moons of the month and, because they are not really visible, they allow the stars to shine more brightly.
Our view of the campfire, accented by these cool solar powered lanterns my brother in-law Brian hung from the swing set. The whole starry, lanterny scene was beautiful.
My commute to work Thursday morning. Ahhhh!

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