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State By State : Beyond Walden: The Hidden History of America's Kettle Lakes and Ponds.


Reflection in one of the Otter Ponds, Standish, Maine.

Nineteen states from Maine to Montana are blessed with kettle lakes and ponds created by the Laurentide Ice Sheet. he links above contain state-by-state descriptions quoted directly from the Beyond Walden (Appendix A) followed by a quote from the main text. Each selection uses one or more specific lakes as examples. Together, they illustrate the range of geological, ecological, historical, cultural, and recreational settings for America's small glacial lakes.

Boston Globe: "As his title, 'Beyond Walden,’' suggests, his account carries the kettle lakes westward across their northern United States range."

Beyond Walden: “Geographically, kettles occur within the glaciated fringe, a nearly continuous but highly irregular arc of sandy glacial deposits lying between the clay-rich soils south of the last major ice advance and the rocky terrain to the north in Canada.” [page 7]


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PHOTO BANNER : Materials, climate, and human impact vary from state to state, giving rise to a variety of kettles. Beautiful, clean, sandy kettle in Harwich, Massachusettss, Cape Cod, was drained and converted into to freshwater cranberry bog because its peat soil was acidic. Unnamed kettle pothole in South Dakota is in mixed glacial sediment dominated by muddy shale of the high plains, its water is mildly alkaline due to high evaporation. The only human impact there, the introduction of cattle, had negligible impact because the buffalo had been using it as a watering hole for millennia. Leech Lake, from Walker, Minnesota is an enormous kettle rimmed by outwash plains and moraines made of sandy gravel imported from the Canadian shield. It remains an epicenter for Ojibwe life, complete with an enormous casino at Walker on its south shore. Pea Porridge Pond, New Hampshire lies within the rocky foothills of the White Mountains. Its water is fresh and cold, and its residents without a lake association.