Speaking of change, the PLPA blog and email newsletter has a new name. The purpose remains the same. “The Nature of Pleasant Lake” covers both announcements of Lake happenings and our natural history presentations of the Lake and its watershed.
Fall color is at its peak around the lake. This view is from the mouth of Turtle Cove. In this issue we continue to look at how some animals in the watershed are preparing to get through the winter ahead.
Pearl and both parents are still on the lake. The parents are molting into winter plumage (see below). We recently were able to get some pictures of all three loons and will post them in the next issue.
Lake Lowering to Repair Dam
The lake slowly gets lower but work has yet to start on the dam repair. This week’s heavy rain will delay things, but plans for finalizing the repairs this year are in the works. Meanwhile, at least one of its inhabitants is moving to deeper water. Freshwater mussels are very important components of lake ecosystems. They filter organic material from the water, helping to clean the lake.
How Terrestrial Frogs and Toads Deal with Winter
Not all frogs and toads spend their lives in water. The Pleasant Lake Watershed is home to a group of terrestrial amphibians who will greet us in early spring with their music: Spring Peepers, Wood Frogs, Gray Tree Frogs and Common Toads.
Last of the Summer Dragonflies
Most dragonflies and damselflies get through the winter as eggs or early larvae underwater. Others move south and have already left. A few late season species of Darners and Meadowhawks can still be found until a long killing frost.
Fall is a time for red and gold dragonflies – mostly Meadowhawk (Sympetrum) species. A male (red) and female (golden) are shown here. Some Meadowhawks specialize in laying eggs in areas that will become temporary ponds next spring. That’s why you sometimes see them mating around fields and forest edges. The eggs will overwinter and hatch next spring when the low areas fill up with snow melt and rain.
Coming next — a Mist-ical Morning on Pleasant Lake
Jen and I spent a wonderful early morning kayaking on Pleasant Lake this week. We started surrounded by dense fog and ended watching it rise from the lake in the presence of our Loon family. We will share that next time.
To be continued … Jon and Jen
Photographs by Jen Esten and Jon Waage