A second straight rest day, due to a weather “window” of acceptable flying conditions thought to be too short for reasonable tasks. The day included some appealing cumulus clouds (not high by Lake Keepit standards), but also plenty of wind and some visibility issues by late afternoon.
About a 5-minute drive from the airfield is Lake Keepit State Park, built to appeal to fishermen and boaters drawn by the lake. With the lake at a very low ebb, the park is mostly given over to glider folks attending the contest. A series of small cabins – normally near the water’s edge, but now about a kilometer from it – provide accommodation for three or four (it helps if they are tolerant of limited space).
There’s a small store that sells snacks, some grilled food, and fishing supplies (in which trade is currently slow). We’ve learned that “chips” (French fries) are a specialty, and that you need to be careful what size you as for: A small order ($3 Australian) is as much as three hungry people can eat. A medium order looks like it would include about 5 lbs of potatoes. I presume a large order could not easily be carried by one person.
Magpies are common in the park. They have a strong objection to late sleeping, and can be counted on to pipe up at first light with their curious warbling & whistling. Signs say “Warning: Magpies swooping” due to their habit – when nesting – of dive-bombing people from behind, sometimes causing scalp injuries. It’s said you can avoid problems by wearing a hat with eyes painted on it that face backward. None are nesting just now, so we haven’t needed this precaution.
Also common are Apostle birds. They get their name from a supposed tendency to move in groups of 12. In fact, the group size is anywhere from about 6 to 15, but they are notably gregarious and essentially never seen alone. Their sound is harsh, but they are friendly, curious and interesting.