We had a rough May and June. We lost Dilly in May from a stroke. Then in June we had to put Umbra to sleep due to a congenital bone abnormality. I was devastated and couldn’t bring myself to post about it. Poor sweet Lola was a sole pig. We could tell she needed a friend or friends. I kept my eye on the local shelters for guinea pigs. Finally at the end of August we found new friends for Lola, who happened to also be 3 years old. Meet Nova and Pip. Now our family is complete again.
In the great state of Wisconsin, approximately 20 miles east of Madison and just a couple of minutes from Lake Mills, there sits a body of water known as Rock Lake. The lake covers 1365 acres, appears to have the somewhat shape of a figure eight, and it registers 87ft at its deepest. From the surface, Rock Lake appears to look like any other body of water in the state, but below the surface, the hidden secrets become known.
Deep below the surface, there are what appear to be underwater “pyramids” that many people believe were built by ancient peoples who once called Wisconsin home, more specifically, during a time when the lake was nearly dry. Researchers lean towards the possibility of the Mississippian Culture being responsible for the mounds (also called pyramids) underwater, their culture once stretched from the east coast to the Midwest and up towards Canada. But the mysterious mounds aren’t the only thing that dwells below the surface, many feel that a lake monster also calls this place home.
The Rock Lake Monster, who would later became known as Rocky, was first spotted in the lake in 1867. A man by the name of Harbeck claimed to have seen a large lizard swimming in the lake, and at one point, he said to have encountered it on land. Harbeck stated that the serpent was hidden within large reeds and vegetation along the shore and as he walked by (he must have startled it), the creatures head rose up, it hissed at him, and it quickly made its way back into the water. Other witnesses at the time reported seeing a large and thick creature that resembled a serpent swimming under the surface of the water. The mystery animal was known to occasionally break the surface of the water and hiss aggressively at onlookers who were close to the shoreline.
Near the end of the 1870’s, a man by the name of R. Hassman spoke of how he encountered the beast as it was holding stationary close to shoreline. Hassman stated that he took notice of what appeared to be a large tree limb floating on the water’s surface, but as he examined the object closer, he could see it was in fact alive. Frightened by sheer size of the creature, Hassman did what any scared onlooker would do, he proceeded to stab it with his sharpened walking stick. Rocky suddenly sprang to life and thrashed about, Hassman reached out to grab the makeshift spear in an attempt to hold the monster but his attempts proved useless. The serpentine monster dove back under the water and made its way towards the middle of the lake. After his account of what happened, Hassman is quoted as saying, “I could no more hold it than I could hold an ox.”
While the 1870’s encounter is quite amazing, the most famous sighting/interaction with Rocky though took place in 1882. Two men by the names of Ed McKenzie and D.W. Seybert had challenged one another to a race in their rowboats, first one across the lake wins. As the men raced towards the other side, one of them noticed what appeared to be the large trunk of fallen tree floating across the surface and into their path. The two men slowed their speed but continued to float towards what they assumed to be nothing more than a log when suddenly, a large neck and head rose up nearly three feet out of the water, opened its mouth wide, and hissed in their direction. The monster dove back down into the murky silt filled water and disappeared, the men were left scared and alone in the middle of the lake. Without warning, the large head and long neck broke the surface of the water yet again, but this time it was right next to McKenzie’s boat. The obviously terrified man began to yell, “Bring a gun! There’s a big thing out here! Come quick and bring a gun!” as loud as he could in hopes that someone on shore would hear him. Seybert took up an oar from his boat and began to swing at the creature and slap the water in an attempt to drive it back below the surface.
Eventually John Lund heard the shouts for help and saw what was taking place in the middle of the lake. He scrambled to gather up a group of men who were also on shore and they all jumped into an available boat that was tied up and began to make their way to the two men who were currently keeping the large creature at bay. As the group got closer to the incident that was taking place, a man in the boat by the name of Wilson raised his shotgun and took aim at the creature. As if knowing what was about to occur, Rocky turned its head towards the third boat, showed its teeth, let out a loud hiss, and dove back into the depths of Rock Lake. Wilson kept his gun pointed towards the water in preparation for Rocky’s return, but the creature never resurfaced. Realizing that it would be in their best interest to vacate the lake immediately, the three rowboats quickly made their way back to shore. The men scanned the water for any sign of the beast, but Rocky would not be seen for the rest of the day.
After the encounter of 1882, sightings of Rocky became few and far between, but that doesn’t mean the Rock Lake Terror was gone, many believe he simply moved to another lake not far away. A few miles away from Rock Lake is Red Cedar Lake, a lake that many people believe is partially fed by Rock Lake via a connecting underground stream. In 1890, farmers around Red Cedar began to report sightings of a serpentine beast swimming around in the lake. But it wasn’t until a local pig farmer reported that a creature resembling a 20ft serpent grabbed one of his hogs off the shoreline in its jaws and pulled it back under the water. People soon realized that Rocky more than likely found a new home with an abundant food source. The monster was said to have gone on a rampage along the shores of Red Cedar Lake and snatched up any livestock that ventured within grabbing distance. The partially devoured remains of cattle, sheep, and pigs were often found the next day floating near the surface or washed up on the shore. In 1892, a farmer by the name of William Ward reported that five of his sheep had been snatched by a monster and dragged back into the lake over the course of one night. Rocky’s presence soon became such an issue that local residents closed up their cottages and fled the area. But then all of a sudden, the attacks stopped and Rocky disappeared.
Many people started to think that Rocky, the Monster of Rock Lake, had died. Sightings were almost non-existent and those who had claimed to see the monster could give no other details besides possibly seeing a large shape below the surface. People were relieved that the monster was gone, or so they thought. Almost 50yrs would pass before a new sighting of Rocky would make waves around Rock Lake. In July of 1943, 15yr old Joseph Davis was fishing on Rock Lake when he started to notice wakes rolling on the water. Confused about where the wake was coming from, Joseph stared out at the water in hopes of finding its source. Suddenly, almost 20ft away from his boat, the large body of an unknown creature rose up from below the surface. Joseph watched as the brownish-black creature slowly moved through the water and he waited for it to show its head. But oddly enough, the monster never lifted its neck to show its head and let out its signature hiss. The large torso at the surface (almost 7ft exposed) slowly arched forward and sunk back down beneath the dark water, never to be seen again.
The 1943 sighting would be the last time anyone saw the Rocky, the Rock Lake Terror. It is believed that the creature had died to old age or some unknown ailment.
So, was Rocky real? Depends on who you ask. Native American legends from the Ho-Chunk tribe within the area of the Rock River (not far from Rock Lake) did speak of a terrible monster that lived within the river. A creature that was said to have a huge head, “wide jaws filled with many teeth, and a body that looked like a serpent. They spoke of how animals that were drinking at the waters edge were often snatched by the jaws of the creature and swallowed whole. Many tribes even believed that there were several of these monstrous creatures calling the Rock River home and they would often dump offerings of tobacco and other objects into the water to appease the creatures wrath.
Now, I do not live to far from the Rock River, in fact, it pretty much runs right through my city (Janesville, WI). I have personally never seen any large serpentine creatures within the murky river water, but I can understand how one could think that a monster could be down there. The river is incredibly dark and you cannot see anything at the bottom of it, it is fast moving, it is a tributary of the Mississippi River, and it runs for over 299 miles. Oddly enough though, alligators have been found within the waters of the Rock River before, some even in Janesville. One was discovered frozen in 1892 a measured almost 6ft, a 3ft gator was found sunning itself on the banks of the river in October 2005, a 4ft gator was found in the water in September 2007, and a 2ft gator was discovered in the river in December 2011.
So who knows, if out of place alligators keep showing up in Wisconsin for some reason, it might not be that unbelievable for a large serpentine creature to call this great state its home as well. Perhaps it was one of these mystery gators that managed to make its way into Rock Lake all the way back in 1867 and everyone just assumed it was a lake serpent out of fear. Maybe Rocky really does exist and one day it will make another appearance. Maybe these are just nothing but good stories passed down from generation to generation and they have since taken on a life of their own. Who knows?
**Warning: rewatch blogging, written with knowledge of the full series
We’re actually gonna take a hot sec here in the Previously On’s to shower love on Will casting an eye over Mason’s PREPOSTEROUS HAIRDO before punching him. Because I was really remiss not to mention that last time, given how much I laughed at it.
Season 2, Episode 12: “Tome-Wan”
Hannibal’s office, high nighttime. “Can you explain my actions?” Will asks. “Can you posit my intentions? What would be your theory of my mind?”
…TFW it’s like you’re personally put on blast by a fictional character.
Gonna do it anyways though! It’s my job, Will. Also you and Banannibal are both disaster oceans right now, and this scene does a good job sketching out each of your unseen undertows dragging you toward the goddamn rocks. WHY YA GOTTA WRECK YOURSELVES ON THE ROCKS, HONEYS.
Alright, so the current state of this fucked Fake Boyfriends trope is as follows: Hannibal thinks that Will is his, Will thinks that he is not Hannibal’s, they’re both wrong. They are also both ignoring all of the BIG BLINKY SIGNS saying they should be stepping way more carefully in this dangerous dance.
Imagine Dean threatening to duel someone for you whilst back in time...
“Dean, I swear to God, don’t be an idiot.”
You crossed your arms across your chest, giving him your best glare. It wasn’t hard, the corset you were having to wear would be enough to put anyone it a bad mood - and that was without factoring the pig headed locals into the equation.
“Y/N, he said-”
“I know what he said,” you hissed, “We’re in a different time now. We won’t see him anyway in a few hours.”
“I don’t need you to defend my honour or some shit. We’re not from here, remember?” You raised an eyebrow at him as he fiddled with the trigger of the gun. “You do realise you’re not in a film, right?”
“In my defence, if he was in a bar in our time I’d still punch him,” Dean shrugged.
“I don’t doubt it, but-” you said, cutting off as a horse and cart trotted by you. “Just don’t.”
Guinea Pig’s Beauty Regimen Really Starting to Pay Off
After a month of lotions, creams, hair volumizers, a vegan diet and early bedtimes, Stacy, a local guinea pig, is pleased with the results of her new beauty regimen.
“We all live such busy lives, it can be hard to find time to really pamper yourself,” says Amanda Dooling, a wellness counselor who tipped Stacy off to the new lifestyle. “Stacy has really embraced it, and she’s feeling better about herself every time she looks in the mirror.”
So much so that the guinea pig has started a blog to chronicle her journey of self-affirmation and skin care.
“I read it every day,” says Colleen Samson, a fan who follows Stacy online. “It inspires me to be my best self.”
Daenerys would gain many practical benefits from conquering Qarth beyond the loyalty of the Dothraki. Qarth’s vast fleets provide a solution to a problem that has dogged her since the first war with Yunkai: how is she ever going to get ten to twenty thousand soldiers and perhaps as many as one hundred thousand freedmen from Slaver’s Bay to Westeros? Traveling overland to the Free Cities by the Demon Road is simply not an option; too many freedmen would die from hunger, thirst and exposure. But Daenerys does not have the necessary shipping to transport tens of thousands of people around Valyria and across the Summer Sea, nor does she possess the necessary warships to protect them from pirates and enemy fleets, nor the provisions needed to feed them on such journey, nor the gold required to pay the captains and sailors.
The closest Daenerys has come to possessing a significant fleet was when Xaro Xhoan Daxos and the Thirteen offered Dany a gift of thirteen ships. This she knew to be woefully inadequate to the task of transporting her court, khalasar, sellswords and Unsullied, let alone the hundred thousand freedmen under her protection (unsurprising, as Xaro most likely wanted Daenerys defanged and the freedmen reenslaved):
Dany wondered how many men thirteen galleys could hold. It had taken three to carry her and her khalasar from Qarth to Astapor, but that was before she had acquired eight thousand Unsullied, a thousand sellswords and a vast horde of freedmen. (DwD, Dany III)
And this was before the Dragon Queen had to find a way of shipping hundreds of thousands of Dothraki and their horses across the Narrow Sea as well. Daenerys is facing a transportation and supply challenge on a scale not seen since the Princess Nymeria’s time. Qarth is the only country east of Valyria that possesses a war fleet and a merchant marine with close to the necessary number of ships:
Descendants of the ancient kings and queens of Qarth, the Pureborn commanded the Civic Guard and the fleet of ornate galleys that ruled the straits between the seas. Daenerys Targaryen had wanted that fleet, or part of it, and some of their soldiers as well. (CoK, Dany III) ….
“How many ships do you own, Xaro? “
“Eighty-three, if one does not count my pleasure barge.”
“And your colleagues in the Thirteen?”
“Among us all, perhaps a thousand.”
“And the Spicers and the Tourmaline Brotherhood?”
“Their trifling fleets are of no account.”
“Even so,” she said, “tell me.”
“Twelve or thirteen hundred for the Spicers. No more than eight hundred for the Brotherhood.” (CoK, Dany V)
This adds up to a merchant marine of at least 3,100 trade ships (!) and an unknown but substantial number of warships. Many of the trade ships are quite large, designed for carrying considerable bulk. During Prince Quentyn’s stay in Volantis he spots “Qartheen spicers big as palaces” (DwD, The Merchant Man). Such ships would thus be capable of carrying a considerable number of men and horses. Now, it’s unlikely that Daernys will net the entire Qartheen fleet, as some ships would flee and many would be away calling at distant ports. But even if the captured Qartheen fleets are not fully up to the challenge of taking the entire Dothraki horde across the Narrow Sea, they will still allow Daenerys to move her army and freedmen through the Summer Sea while the khalasars ride across Essos as they always have. Along the way, the Queen’s fleet could capture or hire additional ships to transport her Dothraki from the carracks, skiffs, cogs, great cogs, long-ships, and swan ships that fill the docks of New Ghis, Volantis, Lys, Tyrosh, Myr and Pentos.
Qarth also possesses an extremely large amount of coin and movable (hence lootable) wealth that Daenerys could also make good use of in crewing and supplying her fleet:
The outer gates were banded with copper, the middle with iron; the innermost were studded with golden eyes… As she rode her silver into the city, small children rushed out to scatter flowers in her path. They wore golden sandals and bright paint, no more. … She passed under a bronze arch fashioned in the likeness of two snakes mating, their scales delicate flakes of jade, obsidian, and lapis lazuli. … They passed through a bazaar in a cavernous building whose latticework ceiling was home to a thousand gaily colored birds. Trees and flowers bloomed on the terraced walls above the stalls, while below it seemed as if everything the gods had put into the world was for sale. … Xaro was a languid, elegant man with a bald head and a great beak of a nose crusted with rubies, opals, and flakes of jade. (CoK Dany II)
Reclining on cool satin cushions, Xaro Xhoan Daxos poured ruby-red wine into matched goblets of jade and gold…
Dany’s tight silver collar was chafing against her throat. She unfastened it and flung it aside. The collar was set with an enchanted amethyst that Xaro swore would ward her against all poisons. … [Dany] had taken care to go before [the Pureborn] in flowing green samite with one breast bared, silvered sandals on her feet, with a belt of black-and-white pearls about her waist. … The chairs [of the Pureborn] were immense, fantastically carved, bright with goldwork and studded with amber, onyx, lapis, and jade, each one different from all the others, and each striving to be the most fabulous. … “I have given you this palanquin of ebony and gold, and a matched set of bullocks to bear it, one white as ivory and one black as jet, with horns inlaid with jewels.” … The armor of [Xaro’s little knights] had been made of silver and gold, the knights of jade and beryl and onyx and tourmaline, of amber and opal and amethyst, each as tall as her little finger. (CoK Dany III)
She was breaking her fast on a bowl of cold shrimp-and-persimmon soup when Irri brought her a Qartheen gown, an airy confection of ivory samite patterned with seed pearls. (CoK Dany V)
Many Summer Sea sailors are slaves and would thus follow Daenerys out of devotion. However, there are just as many if not more free sailors and sell sails that would have to be paid for their valuable services. During Dany’s stay in Qarth, hiring sailors was just as great a stumbling block as acquiring ships:
“If each of the Thirteen would lend me ten ships-”
“You would have one hundred thirty ships, and no crew to sail them. The justice of your cause means naught to the common men of Qarth. Why should my sailors care who sits upon the throne of some kingdom at the edge of the world?”
“I will pay them to care.”
“With what coin, sweet star of my heaven?”
“With the gold the seekers bring.”
“That you may do,” Xaro acknowledged, “but so much caring will cost dear. You will need to pay them far more than I do, and all of Qarth laughs at my ruinous generosity.” (CoK, Dany III)
Then there is the question of procuring the necessary provisions for the fleet over the course of its journey. Victarion Greyjoy on his own trip east split his Iron Fleet into three separate squadrons and had them resupply in Lys, Volantis, and the Basilisks Isles respectively before meeting up and again provisioning at the Isle of Cedars (in the process decimating the local pig population). And Victarion’s fleet only numbered ninety-nine ships and approximately 10,000 men. A fleet of one thousand ships and about one hundred thousand people would require many stops and ample provisioning. These provisions would have to be paid for unless Daenerys wants to waste time waging a destructive series of food wars against the common people of the Summer Sea (not happening). So Dany is going to have to pay for her food and with Winter coming she’s going to have to pay big.
Plundering the private wealth of the Pureborn, the Thirteen, the Spicers and the Brotherhood while also helping herself to the city treasury and stripping the precious metal and jewels off the public monuments would overnight make Daenerys one of the richest people in the world. This plunder could then be used to hire sailors and buy food and water from ports across the Summer Sea. Whatever is left over could then be used to purchase the services of any sellswords and sellsails the Free Cities sends against her, and perhaps even pay off the Iron Bank to win over the Braavosi.