exploring our amazing natural spaces

Outdoor Wisconsin Summer

True summer

June 21 is official summer but it feels like we’re just getting into it now as blueberries fade, mushrooms pop and leaves look a little confused. Bluegills bask in the shallows watching you bask on the dock. Sounds like summer to me.

copyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kalligher


Roadside garden

Walk a country road and you’ll see a bounty growing curbside. Strawberries and blueberries are ripe today with blackberries on the way. It’s a race against the chipmunks who will get there first!

copyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kalligher

Mostly green last day of summer

It’s the last day of summer, 2015 certainly was a good weather year here in the upper Midwest! Signs of fall are starting to show like this migrating grebe feeding in the early morning fog.

summer's endfoggy morning

Sauna tradition

The Finnish sauna can be traced back over a thousand years and brought to the northern climes of America by immigrants as part of their weekly bathing ritual. Today many cabin owners fire up their sauna as a fun social event immediately followed by a dash to the lake for a quick cool down. Clothing optional!

Sauna by the lake

Kayaking with cold hands

Lake Superior is a powerful body of water. A north wind brought fog from the big lake 30 miles south to where I was kayaking on a small Wisconsin lake. Just another reminder a sweatshirt and long pants are essential for trips anywhere near the big Gitch even in July!

Lily Lake

Summer is here

This campground on the main drag in Shell Lake Wisconsin is busy all summer long. Fish or swim right out your camper door.  Or walk across the street for ice cream and a hot dog.  If you feel REALLY adventurous you can walk the neighborhood in search of that secret blueberry patch. Don’t wait too long though, believe it or not we’re already on the door step of the 4th of July!

lakeside campingSunniesFor July

Heat rising

The water in this little 30 acre lake is still warm so cool September mornings pull some of that warmth out giving a foggy start to the day.

early morning bass fishing

Actual size

I’m starting to see patches of acorns under the oaks giving a preview of the beautiful fall colors on our horizon.

oak nut

Hints of fall

PoplarAsterGhost plant or Indian pipe




Long in the tooth

This old beaver now long in the tooth (literally) stays in the lake where it’s safe from the local black bear population. With only pine and oak remaining along the shoreline of this tiny lake, he seems content eating the shoreline shrubs and lily pad roots.

old beaver