The suns going down early these days and seems to drop like a lead balloon once it hits the horizon. Time to bring the old swimming raft in now. It seems to have grown its own garden.
The Miller family have been summering in Muskoka since 1886. In 1950 J. Irwin Miller who was operating Cummins Diesel convinced well known architect Eero Saarinen to travel to Windermere on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka to design him a cottage. Saarinen was never interested in residential design however took on the commission for his fellow Yale graduate and friend. The cottage was built near the family summer home and was a modern style design that represented high art in its day.
Although the Llanrwst or Miller cottage may not appeal to most people it is certainly reflective of the great bond people felt to Muskoka by placing their treasured dreams on our shorelines. Saarinen only designed 7 residential buildings in his life time so to have one in our Muskoka is a treat.
Eero Saarinen is now considered one of the masters of American 20th century architecture with many great achievements credited to him including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis Missouri. Miller became Saarinen’s most consistent client with continuous projects from 1950 to Saarinsen’s death in 1961 at the young age of 51 due to a brain tumor operation.
I stood in the yard and watched them come out in groups of 10 or 20 at a time like Stealth bombers all heading off to war. We eventually discovered there were hundreds of Brown Bats living in the cottage attic. This is not an easy problem to solve on your own so I picked up the Bat phone and called Bill Bat Boy. Bill is a Biologist and renowned expert on Bats. He was able to get the Bats to dump the cottage attic for a new swanky Bat condo and cleanup up the guano. (yup, Bat poo).
Brown Bats can eat up to their own body weight in insects per night so its not a bad idea to try and keep them around. Bill Bat Boy installed two of these cool Bat houses at each end of the cottage. Its been quite a few years now and we are happy to report that there are no Bats caught in peoples hair nor are there any vampire like marks on visitors necks.
Bill Bat Boy has some interesting information about bats on his website.
Please click on the image for a large photo
This season Uncle Eddie’s summer camp had more guests then ever, especially kids. The visitors are just a memory now as Muskoka empties out and we blend into fall. The roads are quiet, the shops near empty and the boat traffic is minimal. The cottage season is over for some but for others its just a change.
Keeping with the “Eye Candy on the Lake” motif.
The north eastern part of Lake Rosseau contains many beautiful estates with some extraordinary island properties. This is the beautiful boathouse on Monyca Island. If you click on the photo you can see a larger photo with more details that include some of the intricate woodwork that goes into these beauties.
I caught this cool boathouse hiding amongst the trees while traveling north on Lake Joseph. The wind was picking up, the clouds were getting dark and the water was starting to get choppy so it was a sure sign a storm was rolling in. It’s not fun being caught out on the water in storms especially if there is lightning.
As you travel north on Lake Joe the cottages and boathouses are not as numerous as other parts of the lake however there are many gems tucked into bays on islands and the remote shorelines. I see something new every time I pass through here which is fairly frequent.
In: on the water
The train leaves at 10am – be under it.
Underneath the train trestle on a clear sunny morning with a little lens flare du jour
This boathouse is on Wasan Island not Tobin Island as I originally posted. It is very near the large Tobin Island on Lake Rosseau however. Sometimes I think we take these boathouses for granted as we have been cruising by them for years. They really are a defining characteristic of Muskoka. People keep asking for more boathouses so a few more will follow unless some other distraction gets in the way.
Update Sept 12: I have now learned that this Island is owned by a group from Germany. Here is their website: http://www.wasan-island.de
I hope everyone enjoyed Labor Day long weekend. I think it was the best weather of the entire summer.
I noticed this rather large lawn ornament on highway #118 outside of Port Carling. I had a little peek inside and would not hesitate to say – free is not going to be cheap.
We had a lot of family and friends roll through the cottage this year. Unfortunately due to the rainy weather kids ended up staying inside more then they should have. When I was a kid I don’t recall ever being inside as we were told that the fishing was better in the rain. These days most kids are hard-wired to reality distortion generator devices however it was good to see some old school, brain exercising activities like the classic jigsaw puzzle.
Coincidentally it happens to be the birthday of an old friend of mine who I refer to as “Puzzle Woman”. I have been trying to figure Puzzle out since my teens to no avail. So if you are out there somewhere Puzzle – Happy Birthday!