We’re two weeks into August, a time of the year that fills me with a sense of wistfulness, a yearning for days earlier in the season filled with the anticipation of many warm, sunny summer days ahead. Now a feeling of trepidation settles over me as the number of summer days dwindles, the sun sets earlier and nights are cooler. I feel an urgency to get outside and get the most out of the final few weeks of summer in Wisconsin.
Last Wednesday was a beautiful summer day, meant to be enjoyed to its fullest. After toiling in my home office most of the day, I hitched up the kayak trailer immediately after work and my daughter Rebecca and I headed north to Park Lake in Pardeeville.
We opted for Park Lake because it was close and a good size for a short evening paddle. We weren’t expecting anything more than a little fresh air and exercise, yet the evening turned out to be exceptional in several ways.
The water was like glass, and we paddled for two hours with Gill, Rebecca’s French bulldog puppy, who slept quietly by her feet. It felt like we had the lake to ourselves, seeing three boats the entire time we were out.
We saw nearly 20 herons, although after the first 10-12, it’s hard to say if some of the birds were the same ones moving to new spots around the lake. We also saw two osprey and, my favorite, a bald eagle! It was relaxing to watch the setting sun color the sky in oranges, pinks and reds, marking the end to another summer day.
I’m glad I had this time with my daughter to enjoy a summer evening on the water, reminiscing about all we did this season and everything we hope to do yet before autumn arrives.