Thursday, October 31, 2013

TITLE: READY FOR FREEZE-UP A Waterworks Column by Gordon Prickett for the 11/6/2013 Aitkin Independent Age READY FOR FREEZE-UP Our boats and dock were the last to come off the lake. That good October fishing weather that I waited for never happened, but otherwise it was a pretty good season. Now in the next month we should be making ice - for skating, snowmobiling, and fishing on our lakes. Once again I am reminded that there is no such thing as absolutely “Safe Ice,” as I will step out with an ice chisel to measure the thickness. I’ll be sure to do my skating near the edge of the lake, for starters. KEEPING THE LAKE CLEAN Water clarity in the lakes of this area continues to attract people. Those who live at the water’s edge for a time have the opportunity to help maintain this clean water. Using natural vegetative materials like grass clippings left on lawns, and composted wastes as soil amendments to borders and gardens, can take the place of chemical fertilizers. With an unmown buffer zone next to shore, limited impervious surfaces beside the lake, and creating rain gardens, we can control runoff and erosion that muddies the water. SEASON OF MIGRATION Whether it’s juncos and finches, “V” formations of geese, or the snowbird neighbors bound for the Florida Keys, many creatures are now on the move. Birders are noting dates when species arrive at their feeders. And warm-blooded retirees bid us goodbye until Spring. Some of us wouldn’t want to miss the Fish House Parade for anything!

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