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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lake Erie and how it changed in a year.

I started this post on January 11 but got sidetracked and never finished it.  I'm trying to clear some stuff up and decided it's worth the effort.

What a difference a year makes.

I was surfing the net and I saw this  blog post  about the weather.  I knew where I was living in NW LA it was dry but I didn't realize how dry until I saw the bit about Texas.  I live about 30 miles from the Texas boarder so we were experiencing the same type of drought conditions too.
  But what really got me thinking about this post was the differences I saw in Lake Erie when I went to visit for Christmas.  My family has a place on Lake Erie and I love to go there to visit in Madison Ohio.  Every time I go I am always amazed at how different the lake looks.  Because of this I do take pictures of it and have some with the same reference points. Plus the beautiful sunsets make it all the more photogenic. When I look to the west I can see Madison public boat launch and use that as a reference.  Usually it is in the left hand side, center, of these photos. This is what the lake normally looks like through the years.

   Here's what the lake looked like last year when I posted this
And here's some more pictures of  Lake Eire at various times during the year.
November 15 2010, Lake Erie.  Notice how low the water was, you could barely launch a boat
Lake Erie on Dec 24, 2010
 You can get a sense of where the water level was by looking at the gray area that runs through the middle of the photo below. Its in line with the drainage ditch next to the boat launch.

 Here's another image of the same area taken in August 2011.  I liked the fact that the lake was so calm so that I could get some good comparison shots.

And some more images of what the  lake looked like in August 2011.  Notice how low the water is right now but you can tell its been a lot higher in the not so distant past.

Notice how the water level is lower than the drainage barrels  thus exposing all of them. 
The drainage barrels were installed back in the 1920's to stop  erosion of the beach.  They've done an good job.  The property to the north of ours did not have any erosion control until the 1990's and the property was shrinking every year until the retaining wall was installed.
Again notice how low the water is and how much beach you see.

You can see that the water level has definite risen since December of 2010.  Notice here how the beach showing is a lot less.
     And here's it a year later at Christmas time.  See how its past the drainage ditch next to the boat launch.

 See what a difference 24 hours can make on Lake Erie.  That's why it can be so treacherous at time.  You can't even see the first row of the drainage barrels.

You can still see that the water level has definitely risen over the year. 
I knew my family was complaining about the weather and all the rain they were getting but I never realize how much it was.  Just look at how high the water line is now.  I'm glad I had these same shots to use for references.  When I think about how much water that must be it just boggles my mind, because Lake Erie is such a big lake. It's very usual to notice any changes in the water levels because of its size. This is what Wikipedia has on Lake_Erie. It says that the lake has "has a surface area of 9,940 square miles (25,745 km²)[1] with a length of 241 miles (388 km) and breadth of 57 miles (92 km) at its widest points.". To see the lake rising so much is so unusual because when you think of how much water it would take just to raise it an inch let alone feet or meters it is just amazing.  I'm just glad I'm not around it all the time so when I do get to see it I am very much aware of the differences.

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