While the Persian Gulf is dealing with a 25% increase in salt concentration due to half a dozen desalination dependent states on its shores, the car crazy U.S. is salting lakes and streams as a result of clearing ice and snow. And this comes on top of wrecking groundwater with ill advised fracking for oil and gas.
Words can not describe how maddening it is to watch us wreck a resource that, in the case of aquifers, will require another glaciation to cleanse.
I grew up in the far northwest corner of my home state, the region known as the Iowa Great Lakes. Wikipedia thinks it’s just Dickinson county but there are lakes in Clay, Emmet, and Palo Alto, too.
Among the over one hundred bodies of water in the four county area there are seventeen permanent islands. Four of those are in Virgin Lake, three are drowned bits of shore, one is an enormous pile of glacial erratics. This lake formed due to meltwater draining through a glacier, depositing the rock as it left.
The pile of glacial erratics in Virgin Lake is maybe two acres but it’s hard to photograph. This postage stamp sized island in Five Island Lake has less cover and shows its glacial erratic composition.
I can’t write without including a few pictures. I can’t write about fresh water without cruising my Flickr account. And once I do that my attachment to California’s mild climate melts away like Iowa snow in April. I want to go home, not just back to the farm, I want this ramp, that kayak, a second boat with camping gear to pull behind, and that island.
Most Iowa farm buildings are wood, but the farm where I grew up is now a century old and its buildings are clay block. This wall is a barn well off the main roads and it dates to the late 1800s. This 1895 farmhouse is now part of Peterson Point state park, just a few hundred yards from the ramp pictures above.
The kame and kettle topography of my home is less likely to change than other parts of the world, thanks to a large amount of water and a limited supply of people. The paved roads get salt in the winter but the vast majority are gravel laid out in Louisiana Purchase one mile grids.
There are wonders there, an oasis of some sort in every mile of gravel that spans the corn desert, but you’d need a native to find them, despite the regularity of the roads.