Morning bird report, seen while taking my coffee on the deck this am, and this was just the first cup.
- Sandhill Crane
- Bald Eagle
- Canada Goose
- Chimney Swift
- Common Night Hawk
- Common Loon
- Piliated Woodpecker
- Blue Heron
- American Goldfinch
- Cedar Waxwingt
And who knows what I was hearing, except for the barred owl. Once you’ve heard a barred owl, heck once you’ve heard a person making the sound of a barred owl, you pretty much know it when you hear it.
Unfortunately when it came time for the second cup a thunderstorm moved in to the area and I had to retire back inside.
This was a short overnight trip to the lake for me. I had a deal in the morning and couldn’t break away until about 1:00. However the kids, and by kids I mean all three of them, had been up there since Friday afternoon, sans parents. A little watershed in family development, they’d never gone up to the house, opened the place up, and managed to feed and water themselves before.
The boys went to the Blake Lake Association Meeting in the morning, a meeting that I’ve avoided the last couple years. It’s a little too dramatic for me, I have enough people to argue with in my home, I don’t need to go out into the world and watch other people argue. Oh, and um not get paid for it. Do that for a living if you will. The arguments at a typical lake association meeting area about what to do about water quality, aquatic weeds namely curly leaf pond weed an intrusive plant which would choke the lake given the chance, association funding and a whatever else is on folks minds. When it comes to water management I’m usually on the wrong side of the majority so I just stare at the spot where my rubber STFU SANK bracelet would be if I had one and let it go.
This year the one topic was water quality, and my son, 2 whole weeks out of geology and engineering school took particular notice. He used a word to describe the meeting that frankly, I found confusing; “interesting”. Apparently there was a dude from the Wisconsin DNR there who talked about a rather serious study that’s being undertaken on our small lake to learn more about the water quality and what might be done about it. Nate had a lot of thoughts about it. He was particularly interested to learn that in some parts of the lake there is 5 meters of silt built up. My favorite part of the meeting would have been when someone asked “what’s a meter?” I like those kinds of questions.
Apparently the Wisconsin DNR is working with the University of Minnesota to do the study which will include core samples to understand what the quality of water was before “contact”. Their goal is to return it to WWII levels. Not sure where that metric came from but sounds good. They’re also doing a survey of every stream in the watershed from here to Big Round lake, about a mile or two up the Straight River to see what sorts of farm runoff are flowing in to the lake.
Clearly this is a big deal. I’ll be interested to see what comes of it.
Nate thinks that because we have so much silt in the lake, as we said five meters worth, which I think is like a foot or something? Anyway, there is a tremendous amount of trapped phosphorus and nitrogen in the lakebed and that all the weed control and run off management in the world won’t do much to prevent the late summer algae blooms. I suggested a different view and he shut me down, which I found interesting. You send these kids to college and they come home smarter than you are. Amazing.
If anyone is still reading.. the hot topic this year was the water level in the lake. An issue I faithfully reported about in the space last week. We were way down, a situation I attributed to damn dam problems. (see what I did there? Clever and innovative use of language if I don’t say so myself.) I was 100% correct in that BTW, it was the dam. The ice damaged it during the winter, knocked some of the stones over the top.
Kid learned an interesting tidbit, apparently there was a time when the lake was quite a bit higher, like about 4 feet higher. Sometime before World War II there was an actual concrete dam at the end of the lake. Apparently the logging company that owned the land in the area used the lake to float logs. I’m not sure where they floated them too, the river that comes out of our lake is little shallow and narrow to be able to really move the kind wood that would merit a dam, but what do I know.
The kid also learned that a great deal of the issues on the lake can be attributed to weekenders or “lakers” as we’re called. We ignore no wake zones, rip around the lake on our jet skis and leave garbage everywhere. Not to get defensive, but I think I’m pretty good about the whole no wake zone thing, matter of fact I bitch more than anyone about it because my boat has been trashed over years from slamming into the dock, that and I have no jet skis… blah blah blah who cares if this old fat ass follows the rules?
OK you don’t care. No problem nor does anyone else I’m sure. After the meeting the boys headed over the to dam and joined the work crew putting it back together. That meant getting into the water and moving rocks. Hopefully this earned them some good will points for pitching in. I’m glad sorry I wasn’t there to help out.
Other than that, was a nice weekend. Warm for a change, lots of time to sit out on the deck and watch and listen to nature. And the occasional lawn mower and jet ski.
Summer may have finally arrived.