An autumn journey on the Miller Ferry to visit South Bass Island was fortuitously in the cards this season. Once the tourist season starts to wind down, nature walks become a bit more peaceful. On my walk over to the Stone Cove, I stopped in at the Lake Erie Islands Wildlife and Nature Center. A stroll through the exhibits revealed a taxidermy wolf that was so lifelike I kept expecting him to move toward me. Chatting with museum staff who are quite knowledgeable about the area, I learned a bit about the blue pike of Lake Erie (a unique and now extinct species), a conversation inspired from reading about author William Ashworth’s Great Lakes Journey. Venturing out to the nature sanctuary included a reminder that this island is part of the regional karst topography.
Before leaving the nature center, I picked up a couple local papers. You may have heard by now that the Stone Lab on Gibraltar Island is getting a nice sum of money to expand, increasing their capacity to conduct Lake Erie research and specifically on algal blooms.
Finding out this great news about Stone Lab from the local Put-in-Bay paper was the crème de la crème of this journey. (In fact, the local paper, the Put-In-Bay Gazette, is so old school it’s challenging to even link to it).
There was also a nice story in the Gazette that South Bass has had an interesting history of names, so I thought I would throw in another and refer to it as South Bass Isle.
While there is always lots of fanfare about the fun of golf carts and downtown Put-in-Bay festivities, I am content to keep to the south side for the peaceful natural beauty and solace. Here is the view from Stone Cove, on the south side of South Bass, facing west southwest (for bearings, you can see the Davis-Besse power plant in the far left distance in the 2018 photo).