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The Small Lake News   : Beyond Walden: The Hidden History of America's Kettle Lakes and Ponds.

"Read All About It!" in the Small Lake News. Below are news flashes about stories that come my way and which relate specifically to America's small lakes, most of which are kettles. Each tip will link to the original story.

Sadly, this old man with a cane fell and hurt himself when he slipped on the rocks while attempting to cross the Mississipppi at its source. Happily, the kids were well behaved, initially patient, then helpful when he fell.

National Public Radio's Robin Young: "You tell us everything anyone’s ever wanted to know about kettle ponds."

Beyond Walden: Small lakes " lack the drama and toxic-shock imagery that make the nightly television news.” [page 215]  

PHOTO BANNER : The good news is that "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." That's what Henry David Thoreau tried to teach us with his kettle lake book, one that is much better known than mine. The image is of Sunday Lake, Michigan at sunset. The bad news is that many lakes are near the tipping point between clearly oxygenated water and murky anoxic conditions that give rise to blue green algae and the microcystin toxins they produce. Modern art, which I seldom understand, is on the campus of the University of Connecticut. "Tipping" outhouses used to be a malicious sport, especially if someone was using it. The flamingos, of course, are plastic guardians of the Thorson outhouse at Lake Plantagenet, Minnesota, the legality of which is grandfathered in by law.

LAKE CLEANUP AWARD ----- January 2010 - Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Long Pond, the largest lake on Cape Cod is a kettle. It's rimmed by residential housing, is fed almost entirely by groundwater, and is a critical resource for the towns of Brewster and Harwich. Owing to nutrient input from historic agriculture, modern residences, and other sources, it "suffered from cyanobacterial blooms, low oxygen, and fishkills throughout the 1990s." The lake is in much better shape today, a "real success" due to "comitment by the towns over a ten-year period. The lake (called a pond) and the enclosing towns of Brewster and Harwich received a TECHNICAL MERIT AWARD FOR PROJECTS from the National Lake Management Association during its 2009 Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT. --- Source: LakeLine, A Publication of the North American Lake Management Society, p. 49. Winter 2009. Link to Long Pond.

FISHY TOXICS ------ January 2010 - Washington, D.C.

"A New EPA study shows concentrationsof toxic chemicals in fish tissue from alkes and reservoirs in nearly all 50 U.S. sites....The data showed mercury concentrations in game fish exceeding EPA's recommended levels at 49 percent of lakes and reservoirs nationwide, and poolychlorinated biphenyls (BCBs) in game fish at levels of potential concern at 17 percent of lakes and reservoirs." ---- Source: LakeLine, A Publication of the North American Lake Management Society, p. 49. Winter 2009. Link to EPA Fish Study.

MAMMOTH TURDS TELL ALL ----- November 20, 2009, Appleman, Lake, Indiana

After years of lab work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, scientists published an extraordinary geological record of lake sediments from "Appleman, Lake (LaGrange Cuonty, Indiana; 41.6237*N, 85.2136*W), a 21-ha kettle pond situated on glacial till and outwash from the lake Michigan lobe." Working layer by layer upward through the archive of sediment sampled with a core (as described on pages 54-58 of Beyond Walden), they identified and counted the spores from Sporomiella, a "genus of coprophilous fungi in the family Sporomiaceae that requires herbivore digestion to complete its life cycle" in different layers. After comparing that record with pollen and charcoal from the same core, and comparing it to the records for megafaunal extinction and PaleoIndian hunters, they concluded that the extinction of shaggy ice age megafauna began when pre-Clovis people arrived, and ended when the Clovis disappeared. The extinction seemed independent of vegetation changes, which were likely the result of, rather than a cause of, the decline of large herbivores.--- Source: Pleistocene Megafaunal Collapse, Novel Plant Communities, and Enhanced Fire Regimes in North America, Jacquelyn L. Gill, John W. Williams, Stephen T. Jackson, Katherine B. Lininger, and Guy S. Robinson. Science, 236, 1100-1103, November 20, 2009. Link to Science.

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