“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
How lucky are we to live and play in such a beautiful place? Not a day goes by that I’m not struck by the beauty of our watershed and especially our prize possession, Messalonskee Lake. Personally, the lake is a ceaseless reminder of all that’s good, healthy, and normal in the world and that’s very refreshing during this challenging time. These times are also a reminder of just how fragile we all are and how important it is to protect ourselves and our lakes and lands for future explorers to enjoy.
The month of March was full of unknowns and compromises, which in turn questioned our priorities and created some confusion about day-to-day life. Then the ice went out on April 3 and almost immediately there were loons on the lake. On the evening of April 4, we could hear loons wailing to each other from the Music Camp to Hammond Lumber. I don’t think there’s ever been a year when their calls were more appreciated than 2020. The loons always show up right after ice-out – that’s what they do – and this year they provided a sense of peace and normalcy that was just what we all needed!
It wasn’t long after the ice went out and the loons showed up that folks started putting in their docks and the boat launches opened up. Suddenly people were fishing and kayaking – I even saw someone waterskiing on April 8 … burr! But that’s normal activity for them. So just like the loons and the waterskier, let’s all do what we can to enjoy springtime in Maine and cherish the role our watershed plays in our lives.
Looking ahead, I was thinking about all our friends from out of state who come visit during the summer months. This year some of them might not be able to make the trip, but you know who will? The Black Terns! Once again, Mother Nature will provide consistency and the Black Terns will arrive to nest and mate in the beautiful Sidney grasses of Messalonskee Lake. Did you know that the 1300-acre Messalonskee Lake Marsh is the largest breeding habitat for Black Terns in Maine? And, if you are lucky you might spot Sand Hill Cranes and the endangered Least Bittern hiding in the cat-tails. So I guess Thoreau was right, the closer we look, the more we see, and there’s a LOT to see right here on Messalonskee.