Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Green Grass of Home

           After a couple of stormy days fraught with rain and wind, we awoke to a sunny sky and calm winds.  We paddled out in the kayaks on flat water that invited our gaze deep into it's depths.   The morning light and perhaps the fresh rain made the water clear and I could down through six feet of water to make out details of the bottom.   Madelyn noted how far out into the lake the vegetation grows, reaching up through the depths to reach the sun.   Not only do plants like water lilly growth up through the lake to the surface, but the very bottom of much of this part of the lake is as green with plants as my lawn.   East along south shore of the lake, the vegetation changes.  In front of our place, horsetail grows up creating a fringe around our dock.  people comment that our when we sit on the dock, it appears that we are sitting on a grassy lawn.   As I paddle east I notice that the vegetation changes from horsetail to grass, and out from shore, barely pushing through the water surface is another plant whose name is lost to me but it looks like the classic aquarium vegetation.  several variaties of pad lilies seem to be scattered about the whole southern part of the lake but not in any density.   It is easy to look at the aquatic plants and think there is only horsetail and lilly pads. But in reality there are dozens of different plants growing in this lake and this morning they are all so easy to see in detail.  A few years ago, a survey of aquatic plants in the Kenai Peninsula lakes found twenty-nine flowering aquatic plants.

        The water is so clear today, it's like heavy rain had changed the water in the lake.   The bright, fresh-scrubbed feeling of the world after a rain seems emphasized this morning on Bear Lake and the red salmon, the tail end of the run,  are brilliant red in crystal water of an August morning in the shadow of Mt Tiehacker.


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