Friday, September 02, 2011

When a Lake Isn't a Lake

I live in a beautiful town. It's a town that people drive through on their way to the mountains by the thousands, especially in the summertime. The lake on Highway 34, leading to Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, is one of the most intriguing sights in our town. People come out on vacation, drive by the lake, see the amazing view of the Rockies, go home, quit their jobs, and move here. The view from there is amazing, and different every season.

When I first moved here (and I know it's the same with everyone else who has moved here), I was astounded to find out that the beautiful body of water is really owned by a ditch company in the town 30 miles east of us. What is a ditch company, you ask? It's a company which provides irrigation water for the farmers. At some point each summer, the lake goes down a bit as the ditch company diverts the water to the farmers' fields.

This spring, we had such a huge run-off from the massive amounts of snow in the mountains last winter that the lake was filled to the brim all summer long. I just loved driving by it several times a day and enjoying the abundance of water. The little beach area was seething with hot humanity trying to cool off all summer long. Unfortunately, the only people who can use the lake for boating and jet-skiing are those who live directly on the shore of the lake, who have been given special rights to use it.

Be we have a dirty little secret around here - well, really, a sandy little secret. Suddenly, about two weeks ago, the water began to disappear at an alarming rate of speed - more water gone more quickly than I can remember (except for the summer a few years ago when they drained the whole thing to work on the pipes that transport the water to the east).

On top of it all, because of the high water all summer long, the intense heat we had, a great amount of algae formed, which then dried on the sand, and creating an incredibly putrid odor, permeating the north end of town, and causing the "lucky" residents on the shore to keep their windows closed.

It has been very sad to drive by the lake on my many trips from north to south and back each day. I keep hoping soon the lake will fill up again. The poor birds and geese seem so bewildered as they stand on the sand bars, wondering what happened to their wonderful spot.

Not very romantic, is it?? I thought of the stark difference between man-made things and the creations of God. Man can try to emulate God's beauty, but we never do it as well, do we? I'll keep you posted!


Linda said...

That is pretty much the way every single body of water around here looks Dawn. We drive by a beautiful ranch on the way to my folks. It has a lovely pond filled with ducks and swans. We've watched it virtually disappear during this awful drought. It looks like nothing more than a big puddle these days, and I feel so sorry for the wildlife.
Prayerfully this will end soon and all the lakes and streams and ponds will be full again.

Brenda said...

Wow that is a stark difference! So will it not fill up again 'til spring runoff?

Dawn said...

The ditch company can divert some water from the Big Thompson River into the lake, which I hope they do soon!! It's hard on my senses to see it like that, and I can't imagine living on it.

Needled Mom said...

You have certainly not painted a very pretty picture of the lake. It is a stark contrast from when it is full and beautiful.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, O.k. so I probably drive by it all the time but am not recognizing it-is it Boyd or Lake Loveland? Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Noreen

Amy said...

That's very sad! No one knows what's happening to the water or you're just in a drought like we are?

Sammy said...

Wow, what a difference. I've heard there have been terrible droughts this summer and farmers have really suffered. Around here Hurricane Irene wiped out a bunch of farms last week. So sad for all those hard-working folks that have lost so much money.

This made me laugh out loud:
"...see the amazing view of the Rockies, go home, quit their jobs, and move here." So funny!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Oh my gosh....I don't think I've EVER seen Lake L that dry before. Mind you, I rarely saw it unless we were using Hwy 287 back and forth instead of the interstate, but still==sad!!! Special rights to use it? Gimme a break.

I have stopped for the day, and before I shut things down, I felt I had to stop by and say 'hi'. I will probably be absent again this week in blog visiting.

see you there! said...

I enjoyed seeing a part of your world, both the beautiful and the bad versions.

Thanks for telling me you had the Flat Princess - you don't actually know where her Home Kingdom is do you? She's in North Carolina now.


Forty Pound Sack said...

Pretty drastic change. I feel sorry for the wildlife that depend on the lake ~

Sharon Lynne said...

That's too bad about the Lake. Hopefully it will come back!

grammy said...

Oh Dear!!!
About 20 years ago....I had the bright idea to take a family picture...for xmas cards...early. It was fall, because the kids have sweaters on. We went to Loveland lake water. Just mud...and puddles. We took the picture
You will have to come have coffee sometime this fall.

Midlife Mom said...

That is so sad! I do hope they divert some water back into the lake from the river! I feel so badly for the birds and other wildlife that depend on the lake.

We just got back from NY and it rained the whole time we were there. Just POURED!!! Sure wish we could send some of the rain we are getting here out west for the parched states.

The pictures before the water got so low are just gorgeous!!!

Robin said...

Your concluding statement says it all!
Blessings to you friend - hope all is going well.

Christa said...

Sad to say, it looks more like some of the lakes, water reserves in California.