Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ups and Downs

This is an up and down story, or better said, a wet and dry story. It involves the pond at our farm as well as the neighboring lakes and ponds such as Chain O’ Lake and Wagner’s Lake (Lake Wautoma it’s called today).

In 1966, our pond was nearly not a pond, but merely a wet marshy area. Then each year a little more water returned and the pond filled. I should point out that it’s a “water table pond,” which means it goes up and down as the water table fluctuates.

By the late 1980s and into the early 1990s our pond was a fine body of water, higher than we had ever known it to be. A place for canoeing and fishing, and even swimming. Same for the other lakes and pond in the area.

By the early 2000s the water began disappearing, a little more each year until last year, our once about three to four acre pond was about the size of a football field. Most of the pond had once more become a marsh.

But starting last fall and continuing throughout the summer and into this fall, the pond is once more filling with water. Each month it is a few more inches deep. The marsh is disappearing and the pond is on the rise. For the first time in several years, we have muskrat houses scattered about—I counted eight of them the other day. The deer and the turkeys are happy, as well as all the other wildlife that depend on our pond and enjoy its existence.

How large will the pond become on this current cycle? I have no idea, but different from lakes and ponds to our west such as Plainfield Lake and Twin Lakes near Almond, both of which are now dry, former lakes, our pond is coming back. At least it appears so.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Everything appears to have its ups and downs.


December 3, Fireside Books, West Bend. 10:30-2:00. Speaking at 11:00 a.m. Celebrating 12 years of speaking/signing at Fireside books. Campfires and Loon Calls—travels in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. Also featuring Agriculture history books: fiction and nonfiction.

December 7, Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 7:00 p.m. Max Kade Institute. Stories from Wisconsin: Germans, Beer and Prohibition.

December 10, Sheboygan Falls Library, 9:30 a.m.: A brief history of Wisconsin Agriculture.

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