Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kite Boards on a Windy Day

On this last day of September the kite boarders are are making the most of the beautiful windy day on Lake Michigan. I took this photo in Grand Haven above the city beach. I don't know who won the contest, but I enjoyed the beauty of the event.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sturgeon in the Great Lakes

Excerpt from The Dynamic Great Lakes "The largest and most primitive fish in the Great Lakes is the Sturgeon. Cruising along on bottoms of the lakes, they remind us of dinosaurs that roamed planet Earth in earlier epochs. Their huge bodies are supported by cartilage as well as bone. They can weigh up to 300 pounds, and like some dinosaurs, they have rows of plates along their heads and bodies to protect them. When all of the lakes and their tributary rivers were cleaner than they are now, and when there were no dams to block their way, these great fish would spawn by running up rivers. In Lake Superior, they still run up the Sturgeon River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to spawn and may be seen surfacing like submarines, sticking their snouts above the water in pools below waterfalls. The Sturgeon has been living in the Great Lakes ever since the last glaciers retreated and fish entered the lakes through crystal clear tributary streams. Sturgeon’s eggs (roe) are a delicacy known as caviar when processed for human food. In 1974 the Sturgeon was included on a list of threatened species. These ancient fish cruise the lake bottom feeding upon crayfish, insect larvae, clams and bottom plants. This is their ecological niche where they use their long shovel shaped snout with a sucker-like mouth underneath to feed. Two whisker-like barbels near their mouths help them to feel their way along the bottom. The Sturgeon is slow to mature; it may not spawn until it is 14 to 22 years old."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kiteboards on Lake Michigan Sept. 22

It's a windy autumn afternoon and the kiteboards on Lake Michigan are making the most of it. Read about the Great Lakes in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, a critically acclaimed non-fiction book about all five Great Lakes and their connecting waters.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rainbow Over Lake Michigan

I snapped this photo this a.m. There was rain and then the sun popped out and this glorious rainbow appeared over Lake Michigan. Unforgettable.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On the Door Peninsula

Ancient saltwater seas once covered what are now sweetwater lakes. The saltwater seas deposited limestone in layers. In the photo you can see how the limestone was formed over time in layer after layer. I took this photo on the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin. It juts out into Lake Michigan in such a way that sailors called it Death's Door due to hazardous conditions. Now it is simply called the Door Peninsula.

Read more about the Great Lakes in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes
with information about how these lakes were formed and what lies around and under the water.

The book is widely available on the www and in bookstores.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Marram Grass

Roots of marram grass weave fine
webs under the sands as
a network expands
thousands of feet.
Stalks bow down to west winds
and multiply season after season
until the tasseled dune
waves with green grace.
Each year the dunes grow higher
in tasseled grasses
in marram grasses’
loving embrace.

--Barbara Spring
Excerpted from Sophia's Lost and Found: Poems of Above and Below

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Webcast between U.S. and Canada

Watch the signing on this webscast between the U.S. and Canada for the health of the Great Lakes.

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Congratulations to the U.S. and Canada on agreeing to a plan to protect and restore the Great Lakes across national boundaries – now bi-national funding and prevention need to keep pace in coming years. Watch live online as Canada’s Minister of the Environment Peter Kent (Environment Canada) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson sign the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 2012. The new Agreement’s coverage of climate change impacts, habitats and native species, and invasive species are welcome additions that follow prior recommendations of the Alliance and other non-governmental organizations to help confront new threats facing the Great Lakes. We look forward to both governments working together to restore the Great Lakes in fulfillment of the promises set in this renewed agreement.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

International Joint Commission teleconference

From the Holland Sentinal

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is inviting public comment via a public hearing by teleconference on the final report of its International Upper Great Lakes Study Board, Lake Superior Regulation: Addressing Uncertainty in Upper Great Lakes Water Levels.

The teleconference will be held at 7 p.m. Sept.19 and provides an opportunity for people to comment who were not able to attend one of the 13 public hearings that the IJC held in July. The deadline for written comments has also been extended to Sept. 30.

Participants may join the teleconference on either of the following lines and are encouraged to dial in 10 minutes before the 7 p.m. start time. The number for the teleconference is 877-413-4814, PIN 7297456.

Written comments may also be submitted via the Upper Great Lakes Public Hearings website.

For more information, visit

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fall Turnover of Water in the Great Lakes

Here is an excerpt from my book The Dynamic Great Lakes

available on Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble and many other stores.

Fall Turnover of Water

On a cold November night with no clouds, the reflections of the
moon and stars sparkle on the calm surfaces of the lakes, and the
silhouette of a vee shaped string of geese migrating southward
crosses the salmon colored moon. Cold north winds have cooled the
Great Lakes waters.
As the air cools, the water becomes cooler and cooler. When
water reaches 39.2/ F, it reaches its greatest density. Waves rolling
in on the beach look heavier, almost like boiling sugar water as it just begins to thicken. The fall turnover of water is about to occur,
an important event in the natural cycle of the Great Lakes. When
surface lake water reaches 39.2/ F, its maximum density, the water
sinks since the surface water is heavier than the water below.
The sinking top layer of water causes the lake water to turn over.
The fall turnover of water in the Great Lakes is important because
oxygen poor water in the deeper areas of the lakes mixes with
surface water containing more dissolved oxygen (DO). This keeps
the bottom from becoming depleted of oxygen.
Bottom dwelling fish and plankton need dissolved oxygen in
water just as we need oxygen in air. When the layers of water turn
over, there are no longer three layers of water since mixed water
results in uniform temperatures.