Monday, September 01, 2014


New bird on the lakes?

Gary photographed this pelican on the west side of Big Blake on Saturday. It had flown by earlier. On Sunday, it was over on the east side of Little Blake.

Off course? Ailing? Lost? First time I've ever seen a pelican on the lakes Blake.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Rumors are in

The rumors seem to be true. Some anonymous person or persons has placed a truck load of rip rap on the edge of the Big Blake dam where the bank had eroded.

That and the 4.5 inches of rain on Friday through Saturday morning (thanks for measuring, Barney), made it seem that the lake was back to its normal level.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Last Saturday (16 August)

Besides going to the Big Blake lake assoc. meeting on Saturday morning, I also trimmed weeds around the dock and finished a good book, As the Crow Flies.

For evidence you can see the book review I wrote by clicking on the title above and examining the "after" picture of the dock below.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Big Blake dam reconstruction

I went to the Big Blake Lake association meeting yesterday. There was a full house at the Georgetown hall. I took good notes. Then I lost them. I am pretty sure my memory is good and that this is accurate.

A couple interesting things:

The man who is half way through a study of sedimentation in Big Blake (whose name is in my notes) talked about his preliminary findings. He's examined mud cores he's taken from the lake and found that

The lake association board has had engineering work done for a new dam at the north end of the lake. The recommendation is to build a “rip rap rock chute” dam. This is a widely used design and is appropriate for the situation. It can be built without “dewatering” (building a temporary dam to keep water away from the new dam site), requires little maintenance, and is the least expensive option. (A search on the Web will lead to descriptions, designs, and photographs.)

A Sherrard family member at the meeting assured everyone that the transfer of the property to be used for the dam is going to happen ASAP.

The cost is predicted to be $100,000-150,000. The resolution presented by the lake association board to the meeting specified that if costs (bids on the project, I presume) rise above $175,000, a future membership meeting would have to approve further action.

Votes of the membership at the meeting approved the board's actions and authorized the board to proceed on
It's most likely that construction will begin next spring.

The cost for owners of lakeshore property (if the dam costs $100,000) would be about $500 per lot. The cost to back lot owners would probably be about $200-300. The exact costs will be determined by the method of assessment. The association was voting on the method of assessment when I left.

If I've made any mistakes in my reconstruction of the meeting, let me know (add a comment).


Friday, August 08, 2014



Oh, besides the delightful visitors from the west coast, the tiger lilies did bloom brightly.

They are blooming and spreading in the garden!

And one of the heritage lilies is also shining in the sun.

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Okay, they are small and young. And any of this could have taken place anywhere. But it took place at Little Blake. 

For the third year in a row, the California crew left hand prints on the wall. Getting to this photo was a messy circus. But, no paint on the girls.

You talkin' to me?

I can hold my breath longer than you can hold yours, old man.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Water recedes; flowers bloom

It's apparent that the dam is out and that it hasn't rained in July. The lake level is about 6" (15cm) lower than it was a fortnight ago and about 18" (46cm) of new land is exposed.

But most of the lilies are in bloom. (Okay, technically salvia are not lilies. They're a kind of mint. And psychoactive.)

water lilies (above and below the surface)

two kinds of day lilies

maybe hostas aren't lilies, but they look like lilies

bright red salvia for the hummingbirds

Waiting for the tiger lilies...


Thursday, July 10, 2014


Tom Sawyer's fallen logs?

First I saw neighbor Mark and neighbor Dan talking near a couple trees that came down a couple years ago. Darrin, who was hired to cut up the fallen trees and haul them off began the job by cutting the trunks into sections about 30" long. Then Darrin got busy with other jobs.

So Mark and Dan were looking at the fallen logs.

Next thing I notice is that neighbor Dan has brought over his splitting axe and wedge. He's splitting one of the big rounds. Mark is nowhere in sight.  (I should have gotten my camera out at that point.)

My first thought was that super salesman Mark had imitated Tom Sawyer, who convinced others to paint the fence he was supposed to whitewash.

However, after a few whacks, Dan was joined by Mark with his own axe and wedge. The two of them began to disassemble to fallen logs. It was such a great show, that I got a beer, found a spot in the shade, and admired the skill and strength of the log splitters.

After a good long while, they wore themselves out and split most of the easily accessible logs. Great work, guys.

The wood pile, though it's not obvious in the photo, is over 4 feet tall.


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