Yes, the lake is down. Way down. It’s to be expected around this time of the year, before the spring rains come and mostly recharge it. (Expected, but not desired.) And while so much of the water has receded, Libby and I (and the dogs) can walk the ground that is exposed to see what there is to see.
What you see above is the former burn pile that never really burned and now serves as fish habitat in the lake, when there is enuf water, that is. The top of this stump should be more than a few feet underwater. The top of this stump should also be adorned with a piece of brownish slag.
We’d known that the slag had become dislodged some months before when the receding water exposed the mishap. But through the winter, the water hadn’t gone down enuf for me to hike out there, find the slag, and restore it to its glory atop the stump. Until our visit last weekend.
And so that became our first chore of the weekend — to hike across the lake bed and fix the stump and slag. I could see that the slag was missing from my vantage at the cabin, but I couldn’t see where it had gone. I suspected not far since, really, where could ten pounds of glass go when it falls from a stump? If you look closely in the photo above, you can see it on the left side of that stump. I’m surprised it fell in that direction since it would be “uphill” across the top of the stump. Perhaps a critter dislodged it. (Also, if you look in the center right of the photo, you can see Libby.)
The stump has been sitting there for more than a decade, much of that time underwater. You can see the greenish bearded growth on the side of it. But it’s begun to shift now. Its top used to be nearly horizontal. Now it slants. I think the pile of gravel and mud it rests on is slowly washing away. And I suspect that eventually, it will topple from its perch and the piece of slag will no longer have a home.
But for now it does. I restored the slag to its rightful place, screwing it deeper into the stump which is obligingly beginning to rot on the top. I hope we get a summer of placement out of it. And I hope I never know because I hope the lake fills and the stump and slag are hidden underwater.