Sunday, July 9, 2017

Climate Change or Hot Spell


 

 The water’s too green for me! 
 


On a hot July weekend what could be more refreshing than spending time wading in a cool lake surrounded by tall cottonwood trees?  My chosen spot for this getaway was the Lahontan State Park with its 69 miles of shoreline, a favorite for nature lovers to camp, picnic and enjoy aquatic activities. 


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Making a quick stop for picnic provisions, I headed out on Alt 95 to the Silver Springs entrance at the state park.  Verbal warnings came from the friendly ranger about the water level being up over many of the beaches and that a number of cars had gotten stuck driving in the lose sand.   


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Parking in a shady spot, I gathered my camera and started to walk down to the day use area.  I noticed that the water was up to the benches on the picnic tables and that the BBQ grills were almost totally submerged. 


  How interesting I thought, but as I drew closer to the water I saw that it had the appearance of green pea soup!


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I picked up a bright yellow leaf to drop in the water for a macro shot and it was immediately sucked down and did not float.  I then realized what I was witnessing was a huge algal bloom.  This happens when sunlight and warmer temperatures accelerate the growth of blue-green algae, cyanobacteria, in water that has an over abundance of phosphorus and nitrogen from agricultural pesticides and fertilizers.  


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Moving on to a northern cove and the scene looked like a set from the B rated “Swamp Thing”.  Any minute I expected to catch something from the corner of my eye rearing up from the murky depths.  


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Making the adventure even creepier was the absence of water fowl, except for a lone killdeer.  


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 The flycatchers seemed to be doing well.



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The flycatchers must be dining on the abundance of dragonflies.



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The green pea soup water didn’t seem to bother anyone else.  Families were enjoying the day with jet skies and children were splashing about and having loads of fun.   


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With record breaking hot summers and the warming climate, I wonder if this is the trend of things to come.  As for me, I’ll keep my camera dry and be content to just stroll along the shore. 


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Join me for my next photo-adventure and as I’m out in nature, I will share with you my observations from behind the lens.  Check my website and order that special print to have a lasting moment in time with nature.




With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.



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