Conservation Minnesota

Ruminating on Nature at Summer’s End

My lake gets real quiet as summer wanes.  I like it that way, solitude and reflection before the colder feel of fall.

I don’t live on a lake, unfortunately, but one I regularly use is ten minutes away from my house.  It’s bounded by parkland, has a boat horsepower limit of six, goes north and south and east and west, and only has seven scattered houses on the shoreline.

I mostly canoe and kayak on it; have fished it, but isn’t a great fishery.  It has sandy points to land and swim, and marsh grasses and lily pads to poke around in.

Although there is milfoil in the lake, it is no worse than any other urban lake.  The quietude is what works for me – no noisey motors, very few boats at all, and the natural and wooded shoreline.  I feel like I’m up north when on it.

I also clean it regularly, picking up plastic bags and bottles near two fishing piers, and sometimes discarded cans.  I hate the littering of natural areas and water bodies by people.  I adhere to the philosophy of the great New Yorker writer, Ian Frazer, who invented a bag snagger to rid New York’s urban trees from the site of hanging plastic bags.

So the lake, although not mine, always reminds me of seeking peace in nature, and that all natural areas deserve to be clean, which we have an important part to play.

About John Helland

John Helland
John Helland is a history graduate of the University of Minnesota. He served as the nonpartisan legislative research analyst for the Minnesota House of Representatives after graduation. He worked extensively on environment and natural resources legislation and issues, and was the primary nonpartisan research staffer for the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance committees from 1971 to 2008.
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