Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's Cooler Near the Lake

We've had some high heat and humidity this week, so we went to Big Bay/Buckley Park in Whitefish Bay. This is a lesser visited beach because there are no lifeguards or play equipment. Most of the people I've seen here are locals who take a jog down to the beach to cool off.
It's a well known fact that it is cooler by the lake. Sometimes it's as much as 20 degrees difference between West Allis and Whitefish Bay Lake Michigan. This isn't a beach with swimming, but you can still enjoy the cool breezes and have fun in the sand. My daughter and her kids joined us.
Lake Michigan from the bluff with a strange cloud hanging over the water
The water was very cold. So cold, that the usual people who often swim here didn't swim. Something about the storm conditions or west winds, one of the guys said. There were a few paddle boarders. We did get our toes wet.
There have been questions about Lake Michigan water quality in past years.  A major effort has been made to clean up the water by planting rain gardens and native plants, in a desire to reduce and clean the runoff.  Because of this, you'll see some pretty wildflowers and bees this time of year.  Atwater Park has the best bluff show, but this is pretty here too.
Native plants have been placed on the bluffs to help with erosion and to reduce runoff
This was the first time my granddaughter has been to the beach since she started to walk, and she loved it, except for having sandy hands after trying to dig a hole with her uncle. It was a challenge trying to wash her hands without getting completely wet.
There were also lots of biting flies.  If you go, bring bug spray. It became so annoying that we decided to cut our stay short.
Marlee, my granddaughter with hands full of sand
 Sometimes you get lucky finding sea glass.  This was my grandson's first attempt with his mom and they found a few pieces.  You can find it easier at Klode Park, but this was a great find for just a few minutes effort. You could also see lots of rocks.  If you've ever been to Villa Terrace Museum, you will see the courtyard floors built of the same rocks, which were collected by the kids who lived there when it was being built.  I imagined how many trips to the beach it probably took to gather thousands of these rocks.
Sea glass collected in just a few minutes

Lots of rocks wash up here
When we left, we took the stairs through the woods.  This beach has access via a paved path, but also a very cool stairway constructed of wood with a natural spring somewhere in the woods that feeds the beach area. If you're feeling hot, get out to one of the Milwaukee beaches this week.
Take the woodland trail to the beach for a different view

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