Wednesday on Washington Island

Bill's Blog

We started the day driving north and stopped at the Washington Island Airport. I sometimes see their weather reports on the Wisconsin weather map. You can see the wind vane and anemometer up top (measuring wind speed and direction). The airport was 99% grass and we remarked about how much grass there was to cut here. $10 to “tie down” and all on the honor system. You can see some showers in the distance above the trees that arrived on the island about 2 hours after this pic. was taken.

This was one of 3 places that were growing lavender

There were 3 places growing lavender. We stopped at one of them, which focused on cooking with lavender…everything from lavender ice cream to the lavender quiche that I ordered for brunch. I caught this dad and son laughing and having a grand time amid the lavender.

While I was eating my quiche, an older gentleman drove his car into a tree by the side of the parking lot. He just wasn’t paying attention/got distracted. I went over to look at the tree and saw this caterpillar. This caterpillar turns into the American Dagger Moth. It feeds on leaves and is one of three common fall caterpillars…the most famous of the three is the wooly bear caterpillar. This caterpillar can blend in with yellow leaves and when it becomes a moth, the grayish color blends in with tree bark and makes it harder for birds to spot. We continue to see a lot of wildlife, deer (twice today) sandhill cranes, ducks, geese…we saw about a dozen wild turkeys.

Wider view of the lavender field

This is a wider view of the lavender field. Note the tables where people can sit an enjoy a meal or pastry. The store had many items…all lavender. In the background, the little boy is now holding the grandfather’s had and to the right the father is with the 2nd child. The sun felt good here. The building behind me sheltered us from the brisk westerly wind.

Here’s some of the pretty flowers that were on a wall. They got shelter from the west wind and an overhang which will keep the relatively hardy impatients blooming a little while after the first frost.

This is at the 2nd lavender farm. Lavender was strung together and hung in this building to dry. Here we encountered a brief, light shower. There was another store here with many tempting and unique items.

We thought about taking the ferry to Rock Island (in the background). There is a lighthouse, tent camping and hiking trails on the island. We decided to continue exploring Washington Island. We were making a loop around the perimeter of the island. Note the towering cumulus and cumulonimbus in the background.

High water level on Lake Michigan

We stopped at a beach park for about 45 min. We sat in the warm sun and walked up and down the beach, until we couldn’t walk anymore due to the high water coming up to the bushes and cliffs. Rock Island is on the right. The bushes on the left were all underwater with the lake now 30″ above average.

Another beach picture

Again, note the high water level. Waves here were averaging two feet. Note the relatively small and uninhabited Hog Island in the distance.

We were going to play mini-golf. The course was mostly flooded. I think I saw 3 holes out of 18 that were playable.

One more pic. of Rock Island with a towering cumulus in the background

We went back to the cottage where we are staying and made sandwiches to take to the pier and sit in the sun. Then I took a long (about 4 miles) walk, while my wife started a jigsaw puzzle. She came to pick me up.

Fried puffballs

We ended the day at a small tavern, where I got a burger with island grown tomato, onion and lettuce. A couple have owned the tavern for decades. They have been married for 52 years and are in their 70s. Today she collected puffballs and fried them up for the customers. There were several couples there (small crowd). We started at separate tables, and eventually became one group when the talk turned to Wisconsin sports. The Badgers are 3-0 after demolishing Michigan – the Packers are 3-0 and the Brewers have won 9 of the last 10 (while the Cubs are going in the opposite direction – even though the addition of Nick Castellanos has been awesome…he’s hitting .327 for the Cubs with 21 doubles and 16 home runs.

We leave the island tomorrow…well, later today.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Weather Tools