The amount of ice still present in Lake Superior between the mainland and Rabbit Island. Photo by Rob Gorski, May 25th, 2014.

An unusual sight to say the least.

Temperatures for the Keweenaw mainland have been in the 70s for the last couple weeks–and even broken 80 on several days–but the remarkably long and hard winter still bears evidence in Lake Superior. It is an interesting contrast considering the record high temperatures the lake recorded just two years ago. Climate change may be making these swings more dramatic and unpredictable, and as a result will have an effect on Rabbit Island’s ecosystem and surrounding habitat that we are excited–albeit anxious–to study.

Rob and Emilie Lee, an artist who worked on the island last summer, arrived on the island a few days ago to begin setting up camp for the summer residency season. Boating from the mainland this year was a noticeably more challenging endeavor for two reasons; The ice floating between the island and the launch, and our original harbor at Rabbit Bay rendered temporarily unusable, having been badly damaged by shifting shore ice one month ago.

Andrew Ranville arrives in a few days to continue preparing camp and welcome the first resident, Elvia Wilk, a writer and poet from Berlin who lands June 6/7th. If the ice has not melted by then she will enjoy an unique sight at the start her “summer” residency on Rabbit Island.