The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Lake in All Seasons

I began my Lake Trek on March 16, 2009, and finished on September 26, 2009. I began at the tail end of winter when there was still ice on the lake, and finished in the first days of the following fall as the first leaves were falling.

The lake changes with the seasons.

I saw it rage during a spring storm, and, in the final days of summer there was a day when it was inert without so much as a whisper of movement against the shore.

The animals and insects and plants changed as I walked the lake. They shed their winter coats, transformed from caterpillar to butterfly, and completed the eternal cycle of plant-flower-seed-death.

One connection of these cycles that was present on just about every segment of my adventure was the milkweed-monarch cycle. The empty pods from last year were at the beginning of my journey. Then, the new plants emerged and were feasted on by the monarch caterpillars as they struggled to produce their intricate blooms.

As the caterpillars bulked up for the change into creatures of flight, the milkweed dropped its flowers and set about, once again, making seeds to release in the fall and winter winds.

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