Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is a Lake Really a Lake If It Doesn't Have Any Water In it?

I never gave much thought to how lakes come into being. My knowledge of lakes is limited; the only times that I've had close encounters with these bodies of water is on our canoe trips in Ontario or fishing on Lake George in Florida. I guess I always assumed that all lakes were carved by glaciers eons ago or created by damming up an existing river.

So when Ed suggested that we build a lake next to our farm house, I was totally baffled. How in the world does one go about building a lake? How does it fill up? How does one keep it from turning green with algae? How do fish get in it? Where in the world does one begin?

That's where the Allan, Stevie and Teddy come in. They are wonderful good old boys who run an excavation company in Shelby County. Stevie (son of Allan) met Ed at the property and assured him that he thought a lake could be dug in a low spot on the property and it most probably would even hold water. An hour and half later (as no conversation moves to a conclusion quickly with Stevie) Ed agreed that they should build us a lake. And build us one they did....

Our lake: waiting for rain...
 Make no mistake that just because they use a bulldozer as their primary tool, they are nevertheless fine artists with their creations. Each time I ventured out to look at the progress, they showed me their latest formation, each of which they thought up as they worked on the lake. The "boys" created a dam at one end just high enough for the lake to stretch a football length or so ending just in time to save some beautiful trees at the far end. Because they knew we wanted to fish in our lake, they strategically placed some tree stumps and rocks to provide fish hangouts. And when they heard we wanted to swim, they created a stairway in and out of the lake with large limestone rocks they uncovered. A rock bridge they build at the far end and they even designed a Flintstone bench for us to sit a spell. With a fallen walnut tree, they fashioned stump stools and placed them in a campfire circle under some shade trees on the far side -- the perfect place for roasting marshmallows on a starry night. I could tell they were enjoying making these features as much as I was delighting in seeing what they were going to come up with next.

Just before they loaded up their equipment to head to their next job, they seeded the area around the lake so we would have beautiful green grass on its banks. That was nearly three months ago and we have not had a 1/4" of rain since then. So right now, we have an amazing dirt bowl that we are confident will someday turn into a beautiful lake -- one where we can fish, and swim, and build a campfire next to. One that we can enjoy with friends and family for years to come.

Now, if I can just be patient and wait for the rain to come....

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