Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Green Lake

I'm in Green Lake today. The lake is near the hill tops and it drains into Union Bay where I paddle more often. A 100 years ago the lake drained on the surface via a nice little creek that ran through a deep ravine until reaching the large marsh that formed the north end of the bay. Now, it runs through pipes, surfacing for it's run through the ravine and then back into pipes until it hits the bay. My mother swam in Green Lake in the 1950's as a member of the Aqua Follies, a touring synchronized swimming troupe. She says that the lake was filthy then and that many of the women got eye infections and that she had to wash her swimsuits twice to get the smell out. The lake is cleaner now, no motor boats and improved sewer systems, although it still has an occasional algae bloom or outbreak of swimmers itch. What I like is that it has a big sky with the surrounding ridges well back from the shore. The shoreline increasingly takes on a natural appearance from the water with willows and reeds and the city's persistent removal of invasive plants. As I finished my first lap around the lake I spotted a green backed heron sitting on a snag.

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