Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Barbara Spring is a former university professor, and journalist and environmental activist. I have published three books:
The Dynamic Great Lakes is about what lies below the waters of the five Great Lakes and the importance of their ecosystems. The book is for the general public and may be used in schools from middle school on up. Folks who like to fish, boat, kayak, and just beach comb are enjoying this book. It has a search inside feature on Amazon.com and it has been updated in a fourth critically acclaimed edtion.  When ordered from this link, the price is $9,95 + s&h. http://www.publishamerica.net/product23502.html

My book of poems, The Wilderness Within has a look inside feature on Amazon.com. It received wonderful reviews. These are nature poems and a couple of essays. The poems are from many countries and about many peoples.

Sophia's Lost and Found: Poems of Above and Below is now available on line and in bookstores. Sophia personifies wisdom and sometimes she seems to be lost to humans.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fly Under the Great Lakes with Google Earth

If you’ve been using the recently released Google Earth 5.0 to check out what the oceans look like from beneath the water surface (tip: use the flight simulator to fly underwater), you’ll be happy to know that the company has extended that capability to the “Third Coast” of the U.S., meaning the five Great Lakes of North America (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) that form the largest group of freshwater lakes on the planet.

Through a cooperative effort with the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) and the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Google Earth now incorporates detailed bathymetry for the five Great Lakes. Users will be able to explore features such as the canyons and shoals in eastern Lake Superior, the Lake Michigan mid-lake reef complex, and the old river channel, now Michigan and Huron at the Straits of Mackinac.
The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory has assembled a narrated Google Earth tour, which you can download ...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Review of the Dynamic Great Lakes

photo by Steve Damstra
Here is a review of The Dynamic Great Lakes.

 It is a green book--perfect for Earth Day.

U.S. Water News - Peter Wild

Are dinosaurs cruising the benthic depths of the Great Lakes even while we go about our daily tasks? Not exactly. Yet sturgeon, fish weighing up to 300 pounds and similarly plated with armor,are nosing around down there. Occasionally you can see the monsters appear, making their spawning runs up rivers and surfacing like submarines in the pools beneath waterfalls... The five Great Lakes, holding nearly twenty percent of the earth's fresh water, are quite young. Gouged out by glaciers, they assumed their present shapes a mere 3,000 years ago. For that, they are a dynamic shifting system, still changing and exhibiting surprising differences. Lake Ontario, for example, the easternmost, although smallest of the bodies, holds more water than Lake Erie, its shallower nearby sister. Here's a handy primer for all such things, from the interaction of phytoplankton and calcium carbonate that gives a white cast to these inland oceans come August and helps clean the water to the charming ice volcanoes spouting chilly "lava" in the winter. This is intriguing stuff for adults, but the straightforward presentation also lends itself to use in schools, beginning about the sixth grade and up. And yes, we get the latest news on the zebra mussel, the tube nose goby, and other threats to the natural scheme of things. Also good news; how since the banning of DDT in the 1970's, the bald eagles have come back.

For an up to date copy, order from bn.com or from the publisher.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wisconsin's Door Peninsula on Lake Michigan

I enjoyed visiting the Door Peninsula and comparing it to the Bruce Peninsula. These are part of the Niagara Escarpment.   Both have layers of limestone, evidence of ancient seas. I took this photo when the lake level was low exposing rocks, fossils and allowing plants to grow that are seldom seen. It's all part of the natural Great Lakes water cycle.  The lakes are low again this year. The lakes rise and fall in cycles.  This is normal.

There were so many shipwrecks off of the Door Peninsula that Great Lakes sailors called it Death's Door. Now it is simply the Door Peninsula, a place where you will see eagles soaring over Lake Michigan's waters and trees hanging onto the rock for dear life.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Alternative Energy a Success in Grand Haven, MI

Grand Haven Tribune by Alex Doty

After a year-long study, Grand Haven Board of Light & Power officials are now looking at the results of the organic diesel fuel tests.

The BLP contracted with Muskegon-based Alternative Energy Solutions (AES) to produce and test an organic diesel created from local sources such as restaurant waste oils, soy, canola and algae. The project was made possible by a $66,680 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.

BLP Director of Production Dan Bush said the project, which was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, has proven its value.

“AES is now competing in the diesel fuel market as the cost of retail diesel fuel climbs to the $3.50 to $4 per gallon price,” Bush said. “The BLP and its employees are pleased to participate in this project and in helping America reduce its dependency on foreign oil.”

During the course of the grant period, AES delivered more than 8,000 gallons of fuel to the diesel plant.

“Advantages of this biofuel alternative energy product include low investment, on-demand electricity — and a community fuel source that is independent of fuel reserves, foreign oil volatility and weather variables,” Bush said.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Steelhead Fishing in a Great Lakes' Tributary

One of the steelheads has the scar left by a lampry eel on its side.  Pictured is Norm Spring holding the fish that were caught on the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids Michigan.  Their guide, Greg Knapp said he really enjoyed the day.  They all caught their limits by 11 a.m. yesterday, not April Fools Day.  So Norm and I had a fish dinner last night.  Steelhead prepared with olive oil and broiled.

Norm is a founder of the Steelheaders organization.

Read more about Great Lakes fish and lots of facts about the Great Lakes in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes.