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Everyday should be and is an opportunity to give thanks. During these difficult and unprecedented times, we can easily lose our footing in gratitude and only focus on what we don’t have, what we can’t do, and sadly for some of us, what we have lost. And so, we must remain steadfast in our work of living in the moment, taking nothing for granted and performing little acts of kindness. No earthly power can prevent us from living in this way.
May all of us, near and far, take a moment and remember what is truly important and know that it is found within. Happy Thanksgiving… now and always. Be kind and stay safe!
I have archived the October 2020 Water Level Chart (at left). October water levels were right about where we want them this time of year- down about a foot, more or less. Substantial rainfall around the middle of the month both signaled the end of severe drought conditions and pushed the lake level to a high of -0.77 feet below the HWM and it’s been falling gradually ever since. We started the month -1.14 feet below the HWM and ended the month higher at -0.89 feet. If you’ll recall, rainfall in September was almost nonexistent until the very end of the month. October started off with minor rain events until the 13th of the month when we received 2.44 inches in one storm. We ended up with 5.48 inches of rain for the month, 1.03 inches more than October average of 4.58 inches. Nonetheless, ground water supplies are still below normal as those of you with dug wells are well aware. As of the end of the month, our part of Maine remains in severe drought. We’re 2.01 inches below the yearly average for this date. Continue reading →
Yesterday was the end of the 21 day grace period for Aquafortis Associates LLC to appeal the recent Lincoln County Superior Court ruling on the DEP transfer order. As of this morning, no appeal has been filed. This comes as no surprise. The DEP Transfer Order stands. And that, as they say, is that.
Earlier this year someone sent me a couple of old postcards featuring pictures of Pleasant Pond (now Clary Lake). I’m just now getting around to posting them in our Historical Photos gallery. It can be hard to figure out where some of these old pictures were taken, I’m relying on my understanding of the topography around present day Clary Lake. The one at left I believe was taken from near the Metcalf property looking southeast toward where the boat launch is today. The date is unknown but likely around the turn of the last century.
This one I think is looking north towards the outlet channel and was likely taken from near the old Ward Sisters home, now the Relyea property. Again the date is uncertain but probably around 1900. I’m very interested in old vintage photographs of Clary Lake (formerly Pleasant Pond). If you run across any please send them my way!
Following a hearing for oral arguments on September 8th, the Lincoln County Superior Court has issued its ruling on the Aquafortis Associates, LLC [AQF] Rule 80C Appeal of DEP’s December 2018 Order transferring the Clary Lake Water Level Order to the Clary Lake Association. In its discussion, the Court carefully considered all of AQF’s claims and denied or rejected all of them. The Order, issued on September 28, 2020 is subject to appeal, and AQF has 21 days from the date of the Order (deadline October 19th) to appeal the ruling to the Maine Supreme Court, but honestly, in my humble opinion, the Superior Court’s ruling was so unequivocal and final and the appeal so pointless in the first place, that I can’t imagine they will want to waste their money on a Law Court appeal, which they would undoubtedly lose. While this ruling did not come as a surprise to us, it is nice nonetheless to get the official word. The ruling is only 9 pages and well worth reading: Continue reading →
We’re nearing the end of our water quality monitoring season. We’ve conducted 8 water quality monitoring sessions this year (a few less than normal because we got a late start) and will conduct one more session this coming week before calling it quits for the year. Many thanks to my associate Kelsie French for her help this year.
Yesterday afternoon when I walked down to my dock I spotted this dead algae washed up on my shoreline. Fifteen minutes after I took the picture, the green scum was gone. Remnants of an small algae bloom, it’s nothing to be alarmed about and there’s a very good explanation for what it is and why this occurred. Continue reading →
I have archived the September 2020 Water Level Chart (at left). September water levels were characterized by a leisurely drop over the course of the month from a high of -0.89 feet at the start of the month to a low of -1.14 feet at the end. On average the water level in August was 0.3 feet (3.6 inches) lower than it was last August. The real news in September were the severe drought conditions that have persisted (and worsened) for the entire month. We started the month slightly ahead of the yearly average and received only 0.10 inches of rain on September 1st and no more rain until storms on the 28th and 30th. That’s 25 days without a drop of rain. We ended the month with a total rainfall of only 0.74 inches, fully 3.10 inches shy of the monthly average of 3.84 inches. For the year we’re 3.04 inches below average for this date. We’re heading into October with a severe deficit of rain. Hopefully that will change soon.
The drought conditions affecting Maine and much of the Northeast are worsening with no relief in sight. Much of the State of Maine is now in Severe Drought (graphic, at left) including Lincoln County. Until today we were in Moderate Drought but the continuing lack of rain is taking it’s toll. We have only recorded 0.10 inches of rain so far this month back on September 2nd. Since then, nothing. Despite the dry conditions, at -14.5 inches below the HWM, the lake level really isn’t that from where we’d expect it to be this time of year. Last year at this time it was down -10.5 inches. Keep in mind that about 3 inches of that water isn’t really ours to manage because the HWM is actually 3.4 inches ABOVE the top of the dam. Perhaps a better way to think of it is we’re now down a hair over 11 inches below the top of the dam. When things are this dry, evaporation accounts for a significant amount of water loss. Also, water soaks into the ground around the edge of the lake. Downstream flows are only 2 cfs, less than the current minimum flows of 3.5 cfs.
According to the Maine Forestry Service, the fire danger is HIGH. Under the circumstances, I’d be surprised if they were issuing burn permits at all. Careful out there folks.
[UPDATE] The Maine Forestry Service HAS suspended issuing online burning permits. You or may not be able to get one from your local fire department.
Some days it got pretty busy! Here one boat is coming out of the lake while another awaits their turn to put in.
Labor Day weekend marked the end of our 2020 Courtesy Boat Inspection season on Clary Lake. We had a volunteer at the State boat launch every weekend this summer, from 6 AM until 2 PM starting on Memorial Day weekend. All told we staffed 134 shifts for a total of 273 hours and conducted 421 boat inspections (including kayaks and canoes). For comparison, last season, our first summer doing CBI, we got a late start and ended up staffing just 85 two hour shifts during which we conducted 270 inspections. Last year we found 4 plants and this season we found 5. None of the plants found were considered invasive. Continue reading →