Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Another ninety degree plus day. Worked in the studio most of the day, but my air conditioning is noisy and inadequate. About 3pm, tired of making watercolors of the lake, Chuck called and said he was swimming in the actual lake, and there was a bit of relief from the heat at the waters edge. It was a steamy and unpleasant ride to Lake Michigan, and the relief extended only about 20 feet from the waters edge, but once there, it was a delight. Chuck had found our old swimming spot from last year, difficult to identify due to lower water level. The rocks look altered and the logistics of entering the water vary from year to year, but this is a great spot with a stepped series of flat rocks that lead you into the water. Chuck had even scraped off some of the slippery algae to make the footing more secure. The wind was from the south, and in Lake Michigan on the west shore that means the warm water is being blown north and the cold water from the lower depths is brought to the surface. The water was cold, probably seventy two degrees, a nice surprise as the water in the pool in my condo building has be over eighty degrees for weeks now, much too warm to bring relief. The plunge into Lake Michigan was shocking for a moment and then you take in the clear coolness of the water. Chuck swims up and down the shore line, attempting to get in some real yardage. I'm more of a plunge in the water, float a bit, and out to drip dry for awhile, then repeat for as long as you are near the water. I brought along a thermos of ice and a couple sparkling sodas and we enjoyed our shady perch on the rocks. Chuck does not like to have his photo taken, but I persuaded him by falsely claiming this would be our one and only photo of him this summer. We were having a great time, until later, as the sun was low in the sky, first one, and then three raccoons made their appearance. They would pop their heads out of the spaces between the rock as unexpected places and Chuck made the comment that it reminded him of 'Laugh In', that show from the sixties where the comedians would pop their heads out of a wall and tell a joke. But no joke here, as cute as raccoons are, I'm a bit afraid. And Chuck was teasing me, he would brush my leg and claim it was a raccoon, or pretend to see one by my backpack. He eventually picked up a small rock and banged it against the ground to scare them away. I didn't do much, these raccoons are so used to people I was sure they were after our sodas. We literally made a run for our bikes and breathed a sigh of relief as we peddled away.