The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Record ice coverage persists on Lake Superior

Lake Superior, late April with ~60% ice coverage

A year ago at this time of year, Lake Superior had less than 5% ice coverage. This year, thanks to the brutal winter, polar vortex, and cool spring, it is still almost 60% covered with ice. 

While ice breaking efforts have ceased in the lower Great Lakes, Coast Guard cutters are still escorting convoys of ships in Lake Superior.

One benefit of the ice coverage: the level of all the Great Lakes will rise this year due to the decreased evaporation over the winter.  

But the negatives of persistent ice coverage include: delayed shipping season and stress on wildlife. The diving ducks who winter over in the Great Lakes had restricted access to open water this winter resulting in many thousands of these birds starving to death. 

Here is a little video I shot in Chicago this winter. This is a merganser duck, and it is diving for dinner underneath the encroaching ice near Navy Pier.  

I will travel up to Isle Royale next month to assist with the Wolf-Moose Study there. This is a wild place and it's bound to be chilly at night due to all the ice still afloat on Lake Superior!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tales from the Book Tour: Kalamazoo Book Club

Park Club, Kalamazoo

 A Kalamazoo book club invited me to join them while they discussed my book. They meet at the Park Club, a fixture in the city for over a century.

It's always fun and instructional for me to meet with book clubs. They let me know what parts of the book they most connected with, where they had questions, and if the book challenged or changed they way they think about our Great Lakes.

And a lovely lunch!

It was a privilege to meet with these thoughtful women.

Thank you all!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tales from the Book Tour: Clarkston School

A teacher contacted me from Clarkston, Michigan. She said that she had used my first book, A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach, as the basis for her ecology course at the Renaissance High School where she teaches.

"Can you come and speak to the students?" she asked.

Kathy Yeloushan, ecology teacher, introduces me to the group 

"Of course!" I replied. And that's how I met the  principal, teachers and students at Renaissance High School in Clarkston. The students were engaged during my presentation and they asked important questions about our Great Lakes.

Students check out the exhibits -- and my KEEN boots! -- from my adventures

 It is vital that the next generation care about our Great Lakes, so I was delighted with the interest these young people showed in my adventures and in our Great Lakes.

Kathy Yeloushan (left) with the curriculum she developed using my book 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Little Shop of STORIES, Decatur, GA

I love discovering indie bookstores when I travel. This week I was down in Atlanta visiting family and I went to the charming 

Interior of the charming store

Decatur is home to one of the nation's largest book festivals, the AJC Decatur Book Festival, held every August. 
This bookstore is primarily for the kids. It is a inviting store that does a wonderful job of inviting kids to explore
the world of books.

And a few books for the parents of all the kids!

And I was delighted to see they had a few books for grownups, too.