The weather for the annual Town of Spider Lake Volunteer Fire Department picnic was perfect. Jo Mazik reports a record number in attendance. The food and entertainment added to the really good time. It was, truly, a good old-fashioned fun community get-together that included everyone. The frosting on the cake is the money that was raised for our fire department.

Jo adds, “Around noon during the picnic, the first responder in the department received a call. She dropped her apron and ran out the door to her car. After assisting the person in medical distress until other help arrived, she returned to the picnic, put on her apron and continued helping with the picnic. (Would you want to drop everything at noon on a Sunday?) Then, later in the afternoon, the water rescue boat, owned jointly by the Spider Lake and Round Lake fire departments, was taken off the equipment display grounds to assist a water incident in Round Lake. This is exactly why we have this picnic fundraiser: We want to give our volunteer fire fighters the best equipment possible.”

A lot of planning and time went into the picnic. Sincere thanks go to all who planned it, volunteered to work during it, baked for it, donated prizes and gifts and to all who attended. Let’s not forget to thank those who helped to clean up after.

If you could not attend, but would like to help out our fire department, donations are always welcome. Send them to the Town Hall address at 10896W Town Hall Road, Hayward, WI 54843. This annual event will next be held on July 5, 2020. Mark your calendar now, and do come!

The third annual cardboard boat race at Boulder Lodge was also had a large and enthusiastic crowd. Six boats competed; two of them sank. The winning boat was The Packer Attacker. The event was a fundraiser for the Northwoods Humane Society, which provided the food and beverage concession, and it was a good sign that they ran out of food before the day was done. We can count this fundraiser as a big success. Thanks to everyone who came and to Boulder Lodge for hosting the event.

St. George Chapel also has been enjoying increased attendance. Last Saturday, 65 people were at Mass. This small, historic log church is located on Highway 77 near Clam Lake. Thanks to many volunteers and to the Most Precious Blood parish in Glidden, Mass is celebrated at 4 p.m. every Saturday from May to Labor Day.

We have been treated to some genuine summer days lately. The Teal Lake Weather Station reports that June was a warm and wet month. The high temperature of 86 degrees came on June 7. The low temperature for the month was a cool 39 degrees on June 13. The smoke in our air just lately is coming from wildfires in Alaska. 

Richard Trenkman, who lives in Spider Lake, has high praise for our road crew: “On early Saturday morning, July 6, a tree fell across South Road blocking all traffic. I didn’t know a specific number to call but left messages with officers on the town board and the road superintendent. To make a short story long, I got a call on my cell phone from an unknown party with a 715 area code. I knew it was probably about the fallen tree. I called back and he said he would be right over. My wife took our Shih Tzu for a walk shortly thereafter and reported that the tree was all cleaned up and you wouldn’t even have known a tree had fallen. Many thanks to the town road crew for their prompt response.”

There are a number of animal sightings to report this week. As he travels to and from town on Highway 77, Jim Nickel has been seeing a pair of sandhill cranes and their chick.

Neighbors on Brandt Road have been very confused lately about the waterfowl on Lake Charles. A large, yellow duck had taken up residence on the water there. But then, a humungous white swan moved in. We all know that swans and ducks do not get along, so it is no surprise the two are not on the lake at the same time. If you drive by, be sure to note whether it is the duck’s week or the swan’s week to be there.

Finally, there is the report I received from Tom Jablonski about a possible monster swimming in the channel between Lost Land Lake and Teal. Tom wrote, “Your eyes take in the light through the retina and pass along info to the brain for interpretation and ‘cleanup,’ which usually works pretty well, but not always. The shooting of a cow because it looked like a deer, or the failure to see motorcycles on the road and kayaks on the water are examples of how that interpretation does not always produce the ‘correct’ result.”

“We went through a ‘failure to compute’ experience last week. Christie and I were on our pontoon with Byron and Connie Miller from Round Lake. On our way to Lost Land Lake Lodge for Friday fish fry, we encountered something quite weird. We were about halfway up the straight section after entering the thoroughfare from the Teal Lake end, when we saw something swimming across the channel from left to right. 

“First, we jumped to the conclusion it was a deer. Then we made the leap to ‘possibly a beaver’ carrying a branch. That did not compute either. As we approached the swimmer, we were now looking at it swimming away from us toward shore. It had broad muscular shoulders and pointy ears. Our combined brains were now saying it looks like a pig or a boar! We quickly discarded that as not being logical. Then it got more weird.

“We expected the creature to disappear in the high grass. It did not. Instead, it bounded/bounced high in the air like a cartoon ‘Tigger’ or a weasel going after a mouse. It did this three or four times, bouncing high but with very little forward movement, then disappearing. Our communal brains were struggling to put this visual information into some box without success. We agreed that it had a llama look to it. Maybe an escapee from a petting zoo? We joked about it being a ‘giant dingo.’

“The next day, I discarded all the mental images except the one of broad shoulders-pointy ears viewed from the rear. This matched up with some online images of a swimming wolf. I was happy to have some resolution but also a little disappointed that there is probably not going to be the first sighting of the ‘Thoroughfare Dingo.’”

I am kind of disappointed as well. How cool would it be to have our own resident lake monster? Well, I guess it is pretty cool to have wolves swimming through the channel.

This is a great place to have a birthday, because everyone in town wishes you well. Jane Larson’s day is on July 11. Harvey Helander celebrates on July 13, and Sherry Parmenter’s big day is on July 16. (Look for the full moon.) Have the best-est birthday ever, each of you!


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

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