Thank goodness we were treated to some good weather last week. Were it not for those sunny days with temperatures in the high 80s, it would be hard to believe that it is actually summer just now. The weather has been so unpredictable that when our son, Rob, came for a visit, I had a “summer bed” and a “winter bed” set up for him. He got to choose whether he wanted to sleep on flannel sheets or cool cotton. The weather was so crazy that he spent some nights in each.

Last Saturday, we celebrated the gorgeous weather by taking the pontoon through the channel that connects Lost Land and Teal lakes. We were delighted to see a pair of nesting loons. It was not so nice to see two guys in an aluminum fishing boat zoom through the channel with a rooster tail spray of water chasing them. They were probably not even aware that there was a loon nest within a mere few feet of their motor. They should not have been going so fast through the channel in the first place, so I yelled at them to slow down. They . . . well, let’s say they did not have a polite reaction.

Two summers ago, a fishing boat bore through a loon family on Teal Lake. The parent loons had to dive for cover. Loon chicks cannot dive. I will never be able to erase the memory of the mother loon holding the body of her dead chick against her breast. Please, please give way to loons. Do not race through narrow channels or close to shore.

Our volunteer fire department is holding its annual picnic from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at the Spider Lake Town Hall. Everyone is invited to come. It is heartwarming to see our friends and neighbors from neighboring towns coming for support. This really is a fun event that defines the meaning and feeling of “community.”

This annual picnic helps to raise money for the department to purchase tools and to pay for training of department members. Past donations have helped to purchase a thermal imaging camera, new wild-land fire gear, and a rescue boat shared with the Round Lake Fire Department.

Smoked pork and turkey with all the fixings will be on the menu. The cost is $9 for adults and $5 for children 6-12 years old. Beverages will be available to purchase. There will be a bouncy house for the kids. Sean and Ian Okamoto will make music to delight everyone.

If you can, consider volunteering some of your time to help make the day a success. In addition to the menu, there is also a bake sale. Donations of baked goods are really needed. If you can volunteer and/or bake, contact Jo Mazik at (715) 462-3709 or at

Early last year, John Gouze went to a big box store to buy a shelf. He made the store employee unstack all of the boxed shelves so he could determine which came in the best box. More than a shelf, John wanted a cardboard box. A large, good quality cardboard box. He was already planning for the annual cardboard boat race at Boulder Lodge.

John went on to build a boat to replicate a D-Day landing craft. He connived Bob Dale to be his crew member. Their boat had accessories: plastic water pistols that looked like grenades. When the two ran out of water ammo, they tossed the “grenades” into the boats of their opponents. Perhaps it was the straight bow that was the problem . . . their boat came in third place out of seven. They were proud, though, to have even finished. Two boats sank.

Beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, Boulder Lodge will again hold its annual cardboard boat race. If you want to race, you must register by June 22. The registration fee is $15 per boat. (All proceeds from this event benefit the Northwoods Humane Society.) For more information, or to register a boat, call (715) 462-3002. If you are not into boat-building and racing, you DO want to come to watch. Arrive early to check out the boats and meet the racers.

Jerry Ferda and Sandy Neuswanger celebrate their birthdays on June 15. Happy birthday!


Donna Nickel can be reached at (715) 462-9207 or at

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