Sunday, June 4, 2017

The #phenology of Summer recreation

Watching the back yard "bluebird" house this morning, it looks like the swallows have moved in and the bluebirds have moved on. That's an unexpected disappointment, offset by warm breeze, warm air temperatures, but water temperatures that probably haven't warmed up much yet.

Kost Dam on the Sunrise River
Kost Dam on the Sunrise River
Photo by J. Harrington

The pools on the Sunrise River had folks fishing and paddling, no swimming, this morning at the Kost Dam and at Pool One, upstream of Dam Two, in Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. If I'm reading the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's draft 2016 Impaired Waters List correctly, paddling in the pools may safer than eating any fish that may be caught. Laying it out on a map unfortunately combines impaired aquatic biology with recreation, and those segments of the Sunrise that aren't suffering such impairments have consumption advisories, all of which are highlighted in red, making it hard to distinguish where recreational use and/or fish consumption should be limited. I wonder if the men, women and children enjoying themselves were even aware of any risks, other than falling in the water or having their bait stolen.

paddlers in Pool One, Sunrise River
paddlers in Pool One, Sunrise River
Photo by J. Harrington


By Rabindranath Tagore

Child, how happy you are sitting in the dust, playing with a broken twig all the morning.
I smile at your play with that little bit of a broken twig.
I am busy with my accounts, adding up figures by the hour.
Perhaps you glance at me and think, "What a stupid game to spoil your morning with!"
Child, I have forgotten the art of being absorbed in sticks and mud-pies.
I seek out costly playthings, and gather lumps of gold and silver.
With whatever you find you create your glad games, I spend both my time and my strength over things I never can obtain.
In my frail canoe I struggle to cross the sea of desire, and forget that I too am playing a game. 

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Please be kind to each other while you can.