Tuesday, July 27, 2010

park point, late july

I used to live on South Street and 16th, literally just a block from Lake Superior. The shore there is not a sandy beach, but I did have really easy access to the water and I could usually find a little stretch of lake all to myself and go swimming a couple times every summer. Since I moved from that apartment five years ago, I haven't gone swimming once, so I was long overdue. It's been actually hot this past week (at least Duluth's version of hot, in the 80s) so yesterday I went down to Park Point to go baptize myself in the Lake.

Even on a Monday afternoon, there were about a million people on the beach, and I had to walk all the way down to the pumping station before I found a stretch of sand all to myself--not that walking halfway down the Point is really the worst thing in the world. On the harbor side by the airport I saw these guys. Sanderlings? I am not confident at all in shorebird ID.
There were also many speed-of-light warblers in the woods that I never got a good look at, let alone a picture of, and I cannot ID warblers by song. They had yellow on them. That doesn't help.

Sunflowers were blooming along the trail, and milkweed was just finishing up. Jewelweed, fireweed and harebells were blooming in the woods, and rattlesnake root was just getting ready. The blueberry and raspberry crops on Park Point this year are phenomenal. Unfortunately, the poison ivy crop is also phenomenal, and picking berries requires playing Poison Ivy Twister: right foot not on poison ivy, left foot not on poison ivy, right hand on blueberry (not poison ivy). 24 hours later, I seemed to have escaped unscathed.
This spring it got so warm so soon, and this summer we've had a couple of hot spells already, and what that means is that Lake Superior is, for once, not hypothermia inducing (note to non-locals: the average year-round temperature of Lake Superior is 40 F; it's usually somewhere in the low 50s in the hottest part of summer). It is not exactly bathwater, and I still had to ease myself into it, but it's still excellent for pushing yourself away from the land and floating on the shining big sea water. I think I'm going to need to go swimming more often this summer.

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