Author Archives: George Fergusson

21 September 2021: Dry Fire Hydrant Installation Complete

20210920_113534It’s been a long time coming, but finally the dry fire hydrant installation over at the Clary Lake dam is complete. The work was started on Saturday but we encountered ledge which required a redesign of the piping and a few more elbows. Work resumed on Monday and proceeded quickly. The hydrant is actually located on land belonging to Steve and Julie Cowles, adjacent to the Clary Lake dam property. Access to the hydrant is over the Association property. Many thanks to David Boynton for donating his time and equipment!

The Clary Lake Association provided the funding for this project and has plans to install another dry fire hydrant in Jefferson near the intersection of Routes 215 and 126 perhaps as soon as next year. Here are more pictures of this installation:

16 September 2021: Website Done For Now!

After three days of more or less non-stop work on the website (and a couple of sleepless nights!) I’m fairly happy with where it stands. On Monday I announced I was going to install a new responsive website theme, on Tuesday I did that, on Wednesday I completely redesigned the menus (after first accidentally deleting the old ones!) and today, four days later, after making some final tweaks to the menus, I’m proclaiming the site redesign done. More or less. Sorta. One thing I’ve learned over the past fourteen years running a website for the Clary Lake Association is that they’re never done, they’re always a work in progress. Continue reading

15 September 2021: Ain’t Life Grand?

I had a minor malfunction here in website land this morning. A simple and truly functional menu layout is the secret to a good website and I haven’t been particularly happy with the old menus since switching to a new responsive website theme.  In the process of “fixing” them I managed to break them instead. Badly. I should have had that second cup of coffee before sitting down to work! Fortunately I make regular backups and I’ve restored the system. Work continues, and I appreciate your patience.

14 September 2021: Responsive Website Theme Installed

I’ve updated the Clary Lake Association website with a new fully responsive mobile-ready and mobile-friendly theme. You might recall that I threatened to do this just yesterday! In fact I had no idea that I’d be cutting over to a new site so soon but I found a more or less suitable theme that required only minor changes and those took less time than I had anticipated. Continue reading

We’re Contemplating Some Site Changes

I’ve grown quite fond of the look and feel of the twenty-ten “theme” in use on this website. It’s clean, simple and fast, but it’s NOT what they call in the website industry “responsive” i.e., it presents the same pages rendered for a desktop computer to all visitors whether they’re viewing the site with a desktop computer, a tablet, or a phone. This can make accessing and using this site hard for people using devices with small screens because they’ve got to continually zoom-in and zoom-out to get pages and menus sized appropriately. Those of you who have been accessing this site on your smart phones know exactly what I’m talking about. Modern themes can dynamically adjust the site’s pages to fit whichever device a visitor is using. It’s long past time when we should have moved on to a responsive website theme.

To that end I’ve begun looking for a suitable replacement. My primary goal is to implement a responsive theme while keeping our current functionality and basic layout, and without breaking the site too badly. Stay tuned and if you show up and the site looks a mess, know that I’m working on it!

2021/2022 Election of Officers and Directors Concluded

Y’all will be happy to know that we’ve finalized the election of Officers and Directors for the 2021/2022 year at a brief Special Membership Meeting held yesterday afternoon at the home of Gareth & Beverly Bowen. Five Board members showed up for the meeting (by golly, a Board quorum!) and two (count `em!) CLA members were in attendance as well (we did not encourage people to attend this meeting). The final tally of in-person and proxy ballot votes was 91 in favor of electing the slate of officers, 0 opposed. The outcome was not in question and the meeting was over almost before it started. Continue reading

September 2021 Water Quality Update

Total Phosphorus Chart

Total Phosphorus Chart

The Total Phosphorus test results from our 8/6/2021 core water sample came back the other day at 0.035 mg/liter, the highest TP value we’ve ever recorded. This is ominous. The next highest value we recorded was 0.034 mg/liter in July 2007 (see chart at left). I don’t remember the particular circumstances surrounding that reading, but there was another high TP reading of 0.032 mg/l more recently, in July 2015 that I do remember. It coincided with a secchi disk reading of only 1.95 meters indicating an algae bloom was in progress (secchi disk readings of 2 meters and below indicate a bloom in progress). You can see this 1.95 meter data point on the chart showing Clary transparency below. In this particular case, extreme low water conditions were a major contributing factor to poor water quality!! I expected a high TP value this time because of the 9″ of rain received in July. Rain means runoff and runoff means soil erosion and sedimentation which is the primary source of Phosphorus in lakes, but still, I was surprised to see such a high number. High phosphorus levels are not good for water quality! We really need to update our Watershed Survey!

Despite the high phosphorus level, we haven’t seen a significant algae bloom yet this summer and we may not, though I did notice a few wisps of dead cyanobacteria along the shoreline back in August, and water transparency is currently holding up nicely: at our last the water monitoring session on Sunday September 5th, Kelsie French and I had secchi disk readings of 3.55 and 3.45 meters respectively which is about average, and better than expected considering the level of phosphorus in the water. Transparency could deteriorate quickly however and we’re going to keep a close eye on it; we will take our 3rd and final water sample for Phosphorus testing during our next water quality monitoring session in a couple of weeks. Continue reading

August 2021 Water Level Chart Archived

8 Clary-Lake-Water-Level-August-2021

August 2021

I have archived the August 2021 Water Level Chart (at left). The 3.08 inches of rain we received in August fell slightly short of the 3.33 inch average for the month, so we’re a little further behind (-1.58 inches) for the year than we were at the end of July. We’ve received 26.17 inches of rain to date, the average for the end of August is 27.75 inches. We also anticipated a good soaking as the remnants of Hurricane Fred and Hurricane Henri passed by within a few days of each other and on August 19th and we opened the dam’s gate a foot to release some water and create some headspace for what potentially could have been a lot of storm water runoff. The storms were a disappointment however, dropping only a combined total of 0.84 inches of rain with virtually no additional runoff and we ended up closing the gate 5 days after opening it, having lowered the lake a grand total of only 3.4 inches. Now it looks like Hurricane Ida which will be passing to our south later this week may result in significant rainfall. Time will tell. Continue reading

17 August 2021: Milfoil Returns to Cobbossee Lake

Variable Leaf Milfoil, Pleasant Pond, Litchfield Maine.

Eurasian Water-Milfoil was discovered in  Cobbossee Lake in 2018 (see our post dated August 8, 2018: “Invasive Milfoil Confirmed in Cobbosseecontee Lake“). The following year Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection treated several areas of the lake with an herbicide in an attempt to kill off the invasive plant. They were optimistic that the treatment would be successful because the infestation was limited (so they thought) to roughly an acre between the north shore and Island Park. Sadly, the following year Milfoil was again discovered in several areas adjacent to the original infestation, which is where this Central Maine Papers newspaper article picks up. Please read it! It paints an ugly but accurate picture of  the situation they’re facing trying to eradicate this unwanted aquatic plant: Continue reading

Call To Action: Help Fight Invasive Purple Loosestrife!


Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

For the past 3-4 years I’ve been removing isolated instances of the non-native invasive plant Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) that I have found growing in and around Clary Lake. With the help of a couple of other people we’ve been able to keep this invasive plant at bay, but the situation is getting worse and I’m no longer able to keep on top of this issue without enlisting more help. Clary’s lakeshore residents need to step up to help manage this threat. It really is important that we prevent Purple Loosestrife from gaining a solid foothold around Clary Lake.

This year I’ve seen more Purple Loosestrife growing than ever before. A few weeks ago, Kelsie French and I spent half an hour pulling up plants growing down on the east end of the lake and the other day, some of them growing on the edge of the water, and some in as much as 3 feet of water. I spotted another large plant growing on the edge of the marsh over by Duncan Road the other day but was unable to get to it in my boat. You can see a good sized field of it doing what it does best, spreading uncontrolled in a small field across the road from the Whitefield Post Office. I’ve written about this invasive plant several times in recent years (see “29 July 2018: Have You Seen This Plant? [UPDATED]“). We need to take seriously the threat this invasive plant poses for Clary Lake. Continue reading