Bug's Bog

Anastasia's father, John Henry Gensic, was famous for the nicknames he gave out to every worthy person he met. "Bug" was one of the nicknames given to Anastasia when she was a child. The lake on which we live is actually a peat bog, a large portion of which was dredged for commercial use. Thus, we have christened our homestead "Bug's Bog."

the lake

Because the lake bottom and surrounding shoreline is peat, the water is just murky enough to prevent the weeds from taking over in the summer. The windy prairie and lack of weeds make it ideal for sailing. In the fall, the Purdue University Water Skiing Team practices here. In the winter it is an ice skater's dreamland.

There is no public access to the lake, because it is all privately owned. In Indiana, recreational use of non-navigable waterways is determined by the person who owns the lakebed. The view from the road across the horse pasture is tantalizing, but the lake remains a quiet and undeveloped treasure.

horse pasture

Our house is protected from the summer sun by cottonwood trees.

our house

This speckled shelter comes at a price, for the trees enrich the shade with their own sticky sap, snowy cotton, and rain of twigs.

farm land

The cottonwood trees are protected from the beavers by wire skirts. This summer the beavers built a new dam across a culvert in the field to our west, and the farmers had to dig it out with a backhoe. The lake is surrounded by some of the richest farm land in the world, and the farmers aren't about to give any of it up. There is also intense peer pressure against development. This makes buildable plots scarce, and we've seen smaller lots selling for more than six times the standard per acre price of farmland in the area.

One of the special delights of living on the bog is the variety of birdlife we see. Our list includes shorebirds, ducks, geese, grebes, cranes, loons, cormorants, trumpeter swans, eagles, hawks, falcons, turkeys, pheasants, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, warblers and countless other songbirds.

max pinning insect

The name "Bug's Bog" is also a pun on "Bugs' Bog." When the bugs come, we can't miss them. Japanese beetles, spiders, bees, wasps, midges, gnats, mayflies, mosquitos, lady bugs, damsel flies, dragon flies, huge beetles, butterflies, and moths. Who can resist asking questions about bugs in such an environment? We couldn't, and we've taken to collecting and mounting them for study. Each spring, the Purdue University Entomology Program hosts the Bug Bowl. Kira, Max, and their cousin joined the cricket spitting competition. They were also brave enough to sample the insect cuisine. They claim that meal worms are a yummy addition to chex mix!

view from our porch

Our first improvement to the house will probably be a large screened porch with an open wall to the sunrise and an open wall to the sunset, providing for a cooling cross breeze. An airy, evening view of the lake safe from the mosquitos will be irresistable.

Although Joe has lived his entire life moving from place to place, Anastasia had lived in the same house in Fort Wayne, Indiana until leaving for Indiana University. Since then, she has moved seven times with Joe, covering Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, and now Indiana once again. Weary of wandering, the pull back home to Indiana was strong. Our first year at Bug's Bog has made a pretty good case for staying right here.

a sunset
krutulis:   adventure - bog - learning - joe - anastasia - log