HRWC staff picks of favorite watershed spots, celebrating 50 years of river protection and restoration work.
I live in Pinckney and one of my favorite places is Little Portage Lake on the Chain of Lakes. Little Portage is a small lake that is the western end of the Chain and is also fed by Portage Creek, one of the most pristine creeks in the watershed.
This is not your typical Michigan inland lake, crowded with houses and docks. The lake is surrounded on 3 sides by woods and wetlands, and on weekday evenings in particular, there is virtually no boat traffic.
We rent dock space from Klave’s at the mouth of Portage Creek, and my husband and I often head out for happy hour, knowing we will only be sharing the lake with swans, swallows, frogs, turtles, and the occasional muskrat and sandhill crane.
We like to drop anchor in a cove at the west end of the lake. The water is about 15′ deep here, and there are no houses at all. Just woods and wetlands, and the background music is the soft slap of the water against the boat, bird calls, insect songs, and sometimes a swan kerfluffle with wings batting at the water surface and echoing across the lake.
It’s the very definition of peace and tranquility, and goes well with a chilled sauvignon blanc or your favorite microbrew.
HRWC is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year!
Tell us your favorite watershed spot HERE.
Appreciate the River, Sunday July 12, by joining HRWC for some fun or heading to YOUR favorite spot with friends.
We have an HRWC shout-out for Hannah Hu, a Logan Elementary student who is the Michigan representative for the Doodle 4 Google contest going on now. You can vote HERE.
Google’s challenge to students? “If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place…” Hannah’s entry is an Ocean Cleaner (pictured below). Here’s what she had to say on the Google 4 Doodle contest page:
“The Machine that I invented to make the world a better place is an ocean cleaner. It helps to clean the trash and pollution that people put into the ocean, and releases fresh and clean ocean water. So the animals that live in the ocean can be very happy, healthy, and strong.”
The winner of the Google 4 Doodle contest will receive a $30,000 scholarship and $50,000 technology grant for their school. So tell all your friends to vote for Hannah’s terrific doodle.
We are all about clean water here at HRWC! Maybe Hannah can invent a smaller version for rivers?
HRWC’s holiday auction includes our largest collection of fabulous items for your bidding pleasure! This year we have over 40 items listed online at BiddingForGood and all proceeds benefit HRWC’s efforts to restore and protect the watershed.
Bids on the River is online now until December 2 and is the perfect shopping opportunity for the holidays or any occasion.
It’s a toss up between Paddle Board Lessons and Schultz Outfitters Fly Fishing Lessons or a Jolly Irish Christmas. Something for everyone. Outdoor recreation, birding, paddle boarding, baked goods, entertainment, unique experiences and cooking lessons.
Bid early and remember to check back for new items.
The auction closes on Dec 2 so start your bidding soon and check back often. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to purchase a beautiful gift for yourself or special someone and support HRWC with just a couple of clicks! Auction proceeds this year will support HRWC’s core programs, such as water quality monitoring.
Our recent trip to Indian Springs Metropark was officially called a “staff outing,” which we all know is just grown-up-speak for a field trip. What a gorgeous day for exploring the headwaters of the Huron River! I know this was the first time I had been to the area, and the origins of the Huron were not at all what I was expecting – somehow, in my head, I had a visual of a large lake or significant bubbling spring (Ok, I admit it, the picture in my head was a dramatic geyser, but I knew that was not happening!).
The reality is that the headwaters are a series of ponds, wetlands and small streams making a joint effort to create the beautiful Huron.
My Pinckney-Ann Arbor commute along Huron River Drive to work at HRWC has been a little waterlogged lately, but it has been nice to see some signs of spring. One harbinger of spring is higher water flow in the Huron River, and this week you need a canoe to sit on the riverbank benches at Delhi. The rapids there are really roaring!
I stopped at Barton Dam, where the water flow was crazy and this big foam glob was creeping across the pathway.
Further downstream, rafts of foam bumped against the riverbanks. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this wasn’t because someone dumped 50 gallons of Tide into Barton Pond.
Luckily, I work at the Huron River Watershed Council! And, we had a newsletter article back in 2005, cleverly titled “What IS that?,” which addressed this very question. Organic compounds released by decomposing plants and animals lessen the surface tension of the water. When lots of oxygen is introduced – from water flowing over a waterfall, or wave action, or dams – foam can form. On a warmer day, I might have scooped up a handful for closer inspection. It would have smelled slightly of decaying plants and probably dead fish.
A few more photos of my drive this morning are below. If you want more information on some of the odd water conditions you might be seeing and what they mean, check out this article from our 2005 Huron River Report
It was a snow day…except for me, I guess. The drive was slushy, and surprisingly loud as globs of slush fell from the trees and power lines on my way to HRWC this morning. It was like being snow-bombed.
But so pretty!
You can see remains of a snow-bomb in the lower left corner of my windshield. This is one of my favorite parts of Huron River Drive.
The best part of this morning’s drive – the trees along the ridge look like they have been dusted with powdered sugar. Which, naturally, made me wish for powdered-sugar donuts (or “cruellers” - pronounced “crullers” – where I grew up in central Pennsylvania). The wishing did not produce any at the office, however.