An Old Hen Sunset

Lake Erie is “Ohio’s Great Lake.”  It is dotted with islands, large and small, some of which are in the American part of the lake and some of which, like Old Hen Island, are in the Canadian sector.  Wherever they are, Lake Erie islands have their own, distinctive feel.  It’s like you’re not in the Midwest any more, but instead have somehow been transported to some faraway, languid, magical realm.

One of the highlights of any overnight visit to a Lake Erie island is the sunset.  They tend to be spectacular, as you look out due west and see the sun fall into the vast body of water, turned fiery gold for the occasion.  This photo was taken Friday night, from the “Sunset Strip” vantage point on the western shore of Old Hen Island.

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Hot As Hen

We attended the annual father-son get-together at the Quinnebog Fishing Club on Old Hen Island this weekend.

As always, we had a wonderful time playing cards, throwing horseshoes, traversing the webby rim of the island, drinking beer, chatting with the other guests, and eating like gladiators.  The generous hospitality of the Quinnebog members is legendary in our family, and this weekend was no exception.  Thanks, gentlemen!

It was hot as blazes when we were there, with the sun high in the white sky during the day and the air heavy and sultry at night.  The heat posed sleeping challenges for spoiled wusses like me who are now so used to air conditioning that they get uncomfortable in any sleep environment that isn’t kept at a constant 70 degrees, or lower.  The dormitory building on the island is an older wooden frame building that has never known the niceties of central air.  It got a little warm in there.

In such circumstances, you just have to laugh at the outlandish notion of using a blanket, position yourself to take full advantage of any stray breezes that might find their way into your room, and recognize that waking up a little hotter than normal isn’t the end of the world.  After all, the hot summer days just make iced-down beers taste that much better, and you just can’t find a better place than the rocking chair porch of the Pete Nowak Lodge on a balmy afternoon.

Equally important, humans apparently aren’t the only creatures affected by the broiling summer days.  The sea gulls and other water birds spent a lot of time bobbing in the water, the fish generally kept to themselves, and even the despised biting black flies couldn’t be troubled to chomp on a bare leg.  If a little heat is what it necessary to avoid the welt-raising plague of biting insects, I’ll take it any day.