30 March 2013: A lot like spring out there today, and other thoughts

Gorgeous day out there today, I’d say most of the north side of the lake is ice-free, perhaps about 1/4 of the lake total- enough so that open water is now easily visible on the web cam from over here on the south shore.

 David Hodson and I stopped over yesterday afternoon take a look around and bumped into Doug Kinney. He said there’d been a pair of loons hanging around. Sure enough, we soon spotted one loon but it was too far off for me to get a picture. It is the earliest I’ve ever seen loons back on the lake. There were also plenty of other water fowl out swimming or wheeling overhead. At the rate ice is disappearing, I expect the lake will be ice-free within a week. Lousy weather could complicate that.

I’d like to thank those of you who corresponded with me about the recent article in the Lincoln County News. No, I don’t think Butch’s plan to have the dam removed stands a chance of happening; it’s just silly, as is his idea of “farming” the meadow. In the old days folks likely pastured some cows out there part of the year when it wasn’t flooded, and we know they cut meadow hay during a short window of opportunity in the early summer, but that’s about the extent of the “farming” that took place in Clark’s Meadow. We all know why Butch would like the water level kept low- his reasons are purely selfish. I will be sending a letter to the editor next week.

Some of you may have noticed that I went ahead and converted all the old legacy photo albums to new WordPress NextGen albums. I hadn’t planned on doing that but it turned out to be pretty easy. They offer more utility and convenience and do a better job of displaying pictures. Sadly, they don’t handle documents like PDF files of which there are a boatload on the site. I’ll have to look for another solution to manage and maintain those.

Finally, I stopped by the dam this afternoon to measure the outflow from the lake; came up with a figure of 35 cubic feet per second which is about what is expected with the lake level 40″± below the top of the dam. Have been wondering if there’s a way to estimate Clary outflows with any degree of accuracy using flow data from the USGS Sheepscot river gauging station located at the bottom of Grand Army Hill. More on this when I find some spare time.

Reminder: This coming Wednesday the 3rd DEP is supposed to distribute the results of the bathymetric survey they performed last September. Stay tuned 🙂