2016 Trip 3: a dragonfly ballet

Silver Lake - June 2016

Friday:
Heading to a new site on Silver Lake this time, a non-electrical site right on the water. From photos, it appears to be perched above the water, and has a fabulous view right down the lake. The only downside will be that it is close to Hwy 7, so we will be able to both see, and hear the traffic. It is only for the weekend, so we will gladly put up with a little extra noise to be on the water. Little traffic, perhaps because we did head out a tad earlier than usual.

Our site is awesome, situated deep up a laneway and at a higher elevation than the other sites, so we are in total seclusion...a rarity in campgrounds.  In terms of trees, it is quite open, and there is lots of sun.
nice site...feels like we are alone

It is forecasted to be a warm 80 degree weekend, so we are thinking of setting up the awning first thing in the morning to give us a little shade, and more importantly, it will help keep the inside of the camper a little cooler for our man Barley. We got the site squared away, set up our camp chairs, then settled in with a cold one, gazing over the water and seriously relaxing.

the case for a couple of sets of Lynx Levellers

Once the sun started to set we got a some shade from the trees, and the temps dropped a bit. We sat out for the longest time, as a gazillion dragonflys scooting around us and must have been decimating the mosquito population. We did not see a mosquito or get bit by one all evening. So many dragonflys to watch, they are simply amazing flyers, and with great speed and excellent darters. Mosquitos are no match for these guys. All the better. There also seems to be a variety of species, as I have seen many that do not look anything like the previous ones.

A few clouds rolled in around sunset, which is always nice for some classic sunset pics. I was hoping to get the sun peeking out from between a couple of clouds as it descended, but it was not to be. Took a few pics regardless, then we headed in. It is definitely cooling off nicely, so it will be a nice sleep.

a touch of Tom Thompson...



Saturday:
Great sleep last night, and there was only a couple of times that I seemed to have heard any of the highway noise. If you are looking for absolute quiet, this is not the site, but otherwise, I think we will book this one again. We were both up real early, but Dale did head back for another snooze. We discovered last night we forgot to pack a few things, and Dale really wanted the paper, so I made a little list and headed in to Sharbot Lake for the supplies. It is only a quick 10 minute drive and I was there when the store opened at 8:00am. It's a great little grocery store, and a few extra items made their way into the cart.

Dale was awake and waiting for her papers, quickly settling into her favourite morning routine, while I got the coffee going. We put the awning up first thing, as when the sun got over the trees it started to get warm quick. Once we got it set up, which took us at best 5 minutes, and we saw the shade it produced, we came to the realization that perhaps we should be putting it up more often. It was quite pleasant having a nice shaded area, and it helps keep the inside a touch cooler. Funny how these little ideas pop into our heads after so many years of using the Alto. Guess it just shows there is always something new to learn or figure out.

a really nice site with a great view, and up high, a nice breeze

Lounged around outside and read the paper the rest of the morning, and by noon, it was getting well into the temps where a quick dip in the lake would be fabulously refreshing. The edge has a small patch of coarse sand bottom, perfect for working your way into the lake. Dale was in first, as she always is, but I was not far behind. The water was reasonably warm and refreshing. We floated for the longest time, I swam out a distance then back, and after a while, the little chill started to set in. We can't remember the last time we were in for a full swim this early in the season. Certainly the effects of a very warm and dry spring, although, I would trade the warmth for some good long rain showers...everything is just a little too parched, this early in the summer. We sat on the rocks for a bit then headed back up for a nice chilled cider.

I suspect these boys were heading from Petawawa to Trenton...

hard to resist the Alto reflections

Still tons of dragonflies around, I can't ever remember seeing so many at one time, the constant movement was sort of mesmerizing, like watching a campfire. The afternoon was spent just sitting and staring at the lake, a perfect activity to relax with. Still pretty hot, but the passing clouds are giving us a nice break every so often.


amazing flyers, and little wonder with these dual wings

I've cycled through the information display of the new Trimetric meter numerous times. Very interesting to see exactly what the solar is doing. At 2:00pm, the sun was pretty much directly overhead, and the solar panels were outputting 8.1 amps, which is pretty close to the peak that the two of them can produce. The battery, which started the morning at 95 full, was now sitting at 102%. The Trimetric has a parameter to allow a certain percentage of overcharge to be applied to the battery, as per Trojan recommended specs. From what I seen so far, I feel quite good that the investment of time, and quite reasonable money outlay, is showing the benefits already. Later this evening I plan to do an energy audit of all 12 volt loads. Best to do this after dark, when the solar output is not an influencing factor. It was interesting to see the effect of clouds passing over the panels. The output change is picked up in real time by the monitor, and when the cloud passes, up goes the amps out. Pretty geeky stuff, but definitely most interesting.

We brought Barley out to sit with us in the afternoon, as there was a little breeze and it was a bit cooler. He was restless at first, but did eventually sit in the step outside the camper, close to the door, in case it magically opened and he could slip in unnoticed. Good luck with that.
The awning has been a godsend this weekend, as the sun has been quite intense. It offers a nice little respite area from the rays. A cold cider and a grapefruit Radler beer helped quench the afternoon thirst.



Pre-dinner G&T time rolled along, so Dale made us up a couple while I started to get the dinner ready. The sun is starting to get lower in the western sky, and our awning shade areas are now moving in the opposite direction.
Simple burgers on the Q this evening, with a potato salad side I picked up this morning in Sharbot Lake. Washed down with a cold beer, kept cold much longer in our new Hydra Flask pints, made for a nice camping meal. We sat out and watched the sun go down, a nice ending to a relaxing day. It has cooled off this evening, and the camper is now at a great temperature for a good sleep.

the new insulated flask works great...definitely makes a difference in how long the beer stays cold





















Sunday:
Woke up early to a bank of low grey rainclouds marching their way towards us. No complaints here though, we badly need a real good soak of rain lasting a few days.
amazing the sights at 5:00 am

Started to drizzle so started up packing up the outside.  Back inside, we turned on the furnace to take the chill off, and crawled back under the covers for a few more zzzz's.

By the time we awoke again, the rain was really coming down. The parched ground was quickly soaking it up. We are in no hurry today so we put on the coffee, lounged on the bed and read the paper.


Barley enjoys Sunday morning papers as well

It rained for a couple of hours, then tapered off into scattered showers. The dark clouds finally passed, it got much brighter out, and the rain stopped. Slowly started to get our act together to head out, and the weather cooperated by actually clearing up a bit.

Uneventful drive home and it was nice to see that the rain seemed to perk up the farmers fields along the way. Our lawn and garden beds seemed more alive as well, and we took the opportunity to do a little (long overdue) weeding. All in all, a great weekend. We found a new site to book again, and even though there was some highway noise, the view, being on the water, and the nice breeze more than made up for any traffic. We will be back to this site in the future for sure!

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