Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On August 15th, 2012, the 57th day of summer, the sun is still warming reptiles on logs of the lake. On the day of the Painted Turtle, hope that you don't have to carry your home on your back for 36 days of summer.


I have noticed only one painted turtle this summer, and I saw that
turtle in a pond of Robinson Park. It was ignoring the mink or
woodchuck or muskrat chewing the water, making circular waves
radiating outward. The turtle swam just submerged under the water,
looking for a meal of the floor of the pond.

I took a tour aboard the Port City Princess along the recovered
coastline of southern Lake Muskegon tonight, and the several experts
talked about turning back industrialism on the lake. The industrial
era on the lake had made the water - shore zone impassable for
turtles. Huge blocks of concrete has been lain along the waterline
near the Coles Bakery plant, and recovery had removed them and
replaced them with smaller rocks, about the size of bowling balls.
These rocks could be navigated by animals and turtles with ordinary
effort. A group of people complained that teams cut down trees when
the renovation passed through. Many trees have been replaced with
native species. As lovely as a black locust appears in full leaf, the
species has not the desirable qualities of a maple. A few of these
were cut down and tossed into weedy shallows as a final gesture. The
turtle have found these trees to be remarkable for sunning themselves.

The journey reveled a number of wonderful people who have cared for
the lake for decades, and their story deserves more than a brief blog
entry. There's the husband and wife team who has cleaned up the Grand
Trunk docks for twenty-three years. The culture is different today,
and little time needs to be dedicated to the clean-up. The team has
added bluebird boxes, a swale and a peace garden. One man has worked
with a team to raise a native population of Muskellunge in Lake
Michigan, starting with Green Bay, continuing to Hamlin Lake. Soon,
Lake Macatawa and the Lower Grand River will be stocked with the now
genetically diverse young Muskies. Those fish will have offspring that
will find Lake Muskegon and the river in a couple of years.

It was a boat trip with the superheroes of Lake Muskegon's recovery. I
am glad I caught the Princess tonight. Slowly, like a painted turtle
walking, we move to a new era on our lake.

Port City Princess Cruises

Photography Credit.
Female Painted turtle

15 May 2008
Jmalik (talk). Original uploader was Jmalik at en.wikipedia
CC-BY-SA-3.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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