The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Monday, January 31, 2011

Invasive Species

The Asian carp is the 'poster child' of invasive species, but do you know that there are over 150 non-native species already established in the Great Lakes? From bivalves from Russia, to plants from Europe, to fresh water-tolerant species from the Atlantic, our Great Lakes are already populated with invasives that continually weaken and erode the ecosystem.

The Asian carp is a big and current threat. It has been making its way to the Great Lakes for many years and is now very near Lake Michigan.

A permanent solution IS possible.

Tom Kelly, Executive Director of the Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay, Michigan, presented his recommendations at the recent US Army Corps of Engineers and Mississippi River Interbasin Study meeting in Traverse City.

See his recommendations here:

Friday, January 28, 2011


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Did You Know...

…the Great Lakes are called “The Third Coast” and “Inland Seas.”

This coastline stretches over 10,000 miles. The state of Michigan, alone, has over 3,000 miles of shoreline.

… Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake completely within US borders. We share the other four Great Lakes with Canada.

Forming laws or guidelines governing the lakes is a complex undertaking involving eight states and Canada. The GREAT LAKES WATER COMPACT is a complex agreement between all parties (and ratified by Congress) governing how water may be used from the Great Lakes.

…the Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh surface water, and 95% of the US’s.

It is important that we preserve and protect this important resource.

Friday, January 21, 2011

To the LAKE!!

I took my book out to see the LAKE this week!

I'd been away from Lake Michigan for too long. Several trips were scuttled by heavy snows or thwarted by other happenings.

It was so good to see the lake, to view the shelf ice reaching out from the shore, to see where the waves have stacked up broken chunks of ice to form these temporary hillocks and mounds on the surface of the lake.

I climbed one of these formations just to give some scale in the photo. While standing there, I noticed a large crack near my foot that was slowly opening and closing as the water pulsed beneath the layers of ice.


The lake has many moods and I am drawn to the frozen, quiet force of it in the winter.
These photos are of the Black River heading out to the lake, its surface covered with pancake ice.

Speaking of Black River, I'll be at South Haven's BLACK RIVER BOOKS on Saturday, May 28 from 1-4 signing books.

And I'll be at Buffalo Books in New Buffalo the Thursday before (May 26th) to do a reading/signing. Hope to see you along the way! Check the sidebar here for my developing Book Tour.

The book will be available everywhere
March 1 !!!
(Ask for it at your local indie bookstore.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Did You Know...

...there are over 150 invasive species in the Great Lakes. These range from fish like the alewife, to plants like the purple loosestrife, to mussels like the zebra and quagga.

...zebra mussels are native to the lakes in southeast Russia. They have been transported to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of ships.

...zebra mussels can produce up to 1 million eggs a year. All of the white in the photo here is from dead zebra mussel shells both in the water and piled up in a long windrow. This was just south of Cross Village, Michigan.

This photo shows a mixture of zebra and snail shells along with stones from the shore of Lake Michigan.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Did You Know...

…Lake Michigan is the fifth-largest freshwater lake in the world (by water volume). Lake Baikal in Siberia contains the most water.

Lake Superior, at third on the list, contains more water than the other four Great Lakes combined.

…turn-over time for Lake Michigan is 99 years, so what we put in the lake will mostly be with us for a lifetime.

And all of the Great Lakes flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Pollutants that we flush into our lakes not only reside there, but gradually travel through the St. Lawrence Seaway into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then the Atlantic Ocean.

…the deepest point in Lake Michigan is approximately 920 feet and is in the middle of the lake between Frankfort, Michigan and Algoma, Wisconsin.

When you take the Badger Ferry, you pass just south of it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Tour!

50 days until
A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach


I am in the process of scheduling lectures about Lake Michigan, readings from my book, and book signings.

The formal launch of the book will be at the brilliant independent bookstore, BRILLIANT BOOKS, in Suttons Bay, on March 11.

Watch for additions to the book tour in the sidebar here or on my website,

Here are the events already scheduled:

Tuesday, February 24: Cabin Fever Series/Pre-Launch Event at
McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Petoskey, MI 6:30PM [link]
Tuesday, March 1: Lecture at the Kingman Museum, Battle Creek, MI 6:00PM [map]
Friday, March 11: BOOK LAUNCH at Brilliant Books, Suttons Bay, MI 7:00PM [map]
Tuesday, March 15: Lecture at Inland Seas Education Center, Suttons Bay, MI 7:00PM [link]
Thursday, April 14: Plainwell's Ransom Library, Plainwell, MI 7:00PM [map]
Wednesday, July 6: Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Northport, MI 2:00PM [link]
Wednesday, July 27: Horizon Books, Traverse City, MI 3-5PM [link]

I look forward to meeting you along the way!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

From My Stack of Reading...

The Wild PlacesThe Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a gorgeously-written book about Macfarlane's adventures in Great Britain as he set out to find the remaining wild places there. It is a strange amalgam of a travel-adventure-literary-nature book. A wonderful new mashed-up category which I hope continues to grow in the future.

This work inspired me as I wrote A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach.

Happy New Year everyone!