Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Dynamic Great Lakes is available on Amazon's Kindle:

The book got so many great reviews that the publisher deemed it "Critically Acclaimed."
The book has been updated recently.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Work of Ice Age Glaciers

Pictured are glacial grooves on Kelley's Island in Lake Erie.  This is the work of Ice Age glaciers.  Here is a quote from my book, the Dynamic Great Lakes:

The glaciers ground softer rocks into smaller and smaller pieces.
The underside of the glacier picked up sharp pieces of stone and
rasped them across the earth. The glacier rasped polished grooves in
hard rock along Lake Superior’s northern shore and other places
such as Kelley’s Island in Lake Erie.
Some Ice Age glaciers remain in northern Canada and Greenland.  The Dynamic Great Lakes is available at Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores and fine bookstores.

Friday, November 18, 2011

This Should Not Happen

A BP (BP) refinery in Indiana will be allowed to continue to dump mercury into Lake Michigan under a permit issued by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

The permit exempts the BP plant at Whiting, Ind., 3 miles southeast of Chicago, from a 1995 federal regulation limiting mercury discharges into the Great Lakes to 1.3 ounces per year.

The BP plant reported releasing 3 pounds of mercury through surface water discharges each year from 2002 to 2005, according to the Toxics Release Inventory, a database on pollution emissions kept by the Environmental Protection Agency that is based on information reported by companies.

The permit was issued July 21 in connection with the plant's $3.8 billion expansion, but only late last week began to generate public controversy. It gives the company until at least 2012 to meet the federal standard.

The action was denounced by environmental groups and members of Congress.

"With one permit, this company and this state are undoing years of work to keep pollution out of our Great Lakes," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., co-sponsor of a resolution overwhelmingly approved by the House last week that condemned BP's plans.

Studies have shown that mercury, a neurotoxin, is absorbed by fish and can be harmful if eaten in significant quantities, particularly by pregnant women and children. Each of the eight Great Lakes states warns residents to avoid certain kinds of fish or limit consumption.

The permit comes as the states, working with the federal government, are trying to implement the $20 billion Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, an umbrella plan to restore the health of the lakes signed in late 2005.

Indiana officials said the amount of mercury released by BP was minor.

"The permitted levels will not affect drinking water, recreation or aquatic life," Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Thomas Easterly told the Chicago Tribune.

BP said it doubted that any municipal sewage treatment plant or industrial plant could meet the stringent federal standards.

"BP will work with (Indiana regulators) to minimize mercury in its discharge, including implementation of source controls," the company said, according to the Tribune.

Part of the concern is that the Great Lakes have only one outlet — the St. Lawrence River.

"Lake Michigan is like a giant bathtub with a really, really slow drain and a dripping faucet, so the toxics build up over time," said Emily Green, director of the Great Lakes program for the Sierra Club.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Books By Barbara Spring

           Books by Barbara  Spring You will find reviews of my three books at this link.  The books are available on, Barnes & Noble and many other places on the www.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My watercolor of Flower Pot Island in Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron.  I enjoyed hiking the Bruce Trail in Canada and going out on a glass bottom boat to observe sunken ships.  These waters can be dangerous.  Wind and waves have sculpted the sandstone into shapes resembling flower pots.

My book, The Dynamic Great Lakes is now available on Amazon's Kindle as well as paperback.  The book is about the many interesting features of the Great Lakes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sand Sculptured by Mother Nature

Sometimes ice and wind carve sand into shapes.  These sand sculptures make me imagine a game of checkers or an army of trolls marching.  I took these photos a couple of years ago.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Great Yin Mother

Sophia's Lost and Found:
Poems of Above and Below
The Great Yin Mother

Yin rocks her cradle, an inland sea
supports us on her thighs

rolls us over her high waves.
Her unbridled strength plays.
Sweetwater mother’s waves
slap us…we tumble in her broad lap.
Risible whitecaps burst their mirth—
Yin’s laughter splashes the shore away.
I want to believe this lake
our mother will hold us forever—
that there is no such thing
as a ring of nuclear power plants
poised on the brink of melt
down to the core.
Surely yang unbalanced us.
Better by far were dragons breathing fire
than invisible death seeping through
air earth fire water.

Excerpted from Sophia's Lost and Found by Barbara Spring

Available from Barnes & Noble, and many other fine bookstores