Thursday, April 24, 2008

2008 Water Walker Film Festival Award Winner

2008 Water Walker Film Festival Award WinnerThe wonderful, and very Canadian, Anne Baxter called late yesterday and informed us that "paddling the solo canoe" had won an award at this year's Water Walker Film Festival. This film festival is all about honoring the memory of Bill Mason, one of modern canoeing's "founding fathers". He also went on to become a conservationist who spent a good chunk of his life bringing attention to Canadian waterways to help preserve them and make Canadians more aware of the resource they had, in many cases at their doorstep. He went on to achieve some global renown for his efforts in conservation. We are happy to be an award winner. Also kind of neat to have made a solo canoe project, as I do believe that was one of Bill's most preferred watercraft.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Coming To A Pond Near You ??

This is what I saw today in our neighborhood. Under the big huge drainage pipe you can see what, for now, is a surprisingly nice pond. Fish in it, birds on it, stable banks, and some kind of ugly trees that are sticking up out of it. But they're part of the waterscape now. I can take my canoe or kayak and WALK to this pond and have a peaceful little float. Even better I can take my kids.

And now today this shows up. Hundreds of feet of drainage pipe. I wonder what they are going to do? hmmmmmm........ I have to give the the city (Stoughton, WI.) some benefit of the doubt, I don't know what they are doing at this point. But the pipe does not leave much to the imagination.

Years ago, this was a gravel pit that one would think would have some pretty high infiltration rates. Apparently either high sedimentation rates or more clay in the soil than expected overcame the infiltration and the pond was unexpectedly born.

I guess I am biased, I've never had a 13-acre pond within walking distance of my house before. I kind of like this "as is". Of course the floods last summer that just about entered my basement are also part of this same pondscape. I swear, the older I get the harder it is to find a simple answer. Hopefully, this will end well.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ice Out

Finally.The ice finally goes out

This has been quite the winter here in Wisconsin and for much of the northern US. Kind of a winter from the old days when the drifts were six feet deep and the cold was of the below zero sort. All the global warming outcry and the accompanying mild winters lulled us into a sense of warm security. I know I was certainly wondering what was going on when I was mowing the lawn in November the last few years. So this winter, whether it was a fluke or not, was different from the last few winters and was certainly long enough to create cabin fever. Which has made us all anxious for spring. In those afore-mentioned "olden days", the ice going out was a big event. I've never been around water as the ice was melting, "going out" to use that old term. Today though, I saw a little bit of it in action. Ice going out, to me, looks more like ice rotting and literally dissolving in place more than anything else. With a little wind today, I sat on the shore and watched big chunks of it break off, get blown around and melt, almost in front of my eyes. Neat stuff.