Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Jim Rose took this photo as equipment for repairing Island roads
arrived two days ago.  Crews made numerous, special
runs to bring in trucks and other, sometimes over-sized
pieces such as the pulverizer, above.
Detroit Harbor, Washington Island -

We're almost mid-way through August.  The last Island Music Festival concert will be Friday evening, with the Lion's Club sponsored Island Fair and Parade to follow on Saturday.  By tourism standards, we're now approaching the down side of summer.

These past two weeks we've had consistently great summer weather.  Some would add, "And it's about time."  Traffic on the ferries, through town and about the Island was seen to be at a strong summer pace, especially last Saturday.  My observation post was the Karfi, in Jackson Harbor, and while I'm not often working weekends there, this last Saturday I observed dozens of recreational watercraft ranging from sizable yachts to canoes and kayaks and sport fishing boats.  Moored near Rock Island for  the afternoon was a yellow seaplane.  Passenger traffic was brisk to and from Rock Island, both day visitors and campers, an indicator of what was happening in other parts of Washington Island and Door County.

Consistent, warm weather and
consistent ferry traffic during the past several
weeks of summer.
The County Highway Department brought in road repair equipment and crews (some arrived the previous week).  This major ferrying operation included the Northeast Asphalt portable plant.

A few of the largest pieces just cleared the Arni J. Richter's overhead by a fraction of an inch, a small margin as the winds and seas built steadily from the north in the early evening when this equipment was transported.

Tuesday morning, on my way to Jackson Harbor and the Karfi, more than one mile of the old roadbed had already been pulverized by the machine shown above.  Other pieces of equipment were grading, watering and rolling the surface in preparation for laying fresh blacktop.

We'll have to put up with a bit of inconvenience while the crews prepare roads and lay new blacktop, but as with the dredging, this is a big project, and when it finished major Island roads should be in the best shape we've seen in a long, long time.

The Detroit Harbor dredging project - the physical digging and hauling - ended during week three of July, with only administrative reports yet to be completed.   This Detroit Harbor channel improvement   ought to hold sufficiently for decades to come, barring severe and prolonged drops in lake levels.

Eyes not yet in focus

I took out the trash the other morning and noticed a small frog on a ledge by the garage door.  As I bent down to inspect, it hopped onto a vine leaf.  I retrieved my iPhone for several photos, upside down and over the ledge.   Later, when I saw the enlarged photos, I noticed the worm on the same leaf.  A quiet moment and a small surprise to begin my day.

In the field, milkweeds are in blossom, and when I mow near the field in the early evening's dampness and light air, I'm able to smell a sweet fragrance.

Soon, we'll see monarch chrysalis attached to those same plants.

These last two weeks of August will go quickly, and we hope to enjoy them to the fullest possible extent.

-  Dick Purinton

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