Monday, June 02, 2008

Lake Wingra, Madison's smallest, most meditative lake

People and Water
Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent- minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries - stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever. -- Herman Melville
If meditation and water are wedded for ever, in Madison the marriage bond is probably tightest on Lake Wingra, the smallest, most natural of the three lakes in the city. It's peaceful because recreational use of power boats is restricted, and because so much of this small, urban lake is surrounded by public land -- wetlands (UW Arboretum) or parks (Vilas Park, and its much smaller cousin just to the west, Wingra Park, where the photo was taken). It's a spring-fed lake, and, yes, there is magic in it. (Mark your calendar: June 14th is the annual Lake Wingra clean-up and teach-in at Wingra Park, followed by the Jazz in the Park neighborhood festival.)

4 comments:

Dr Bud "Snappy Lead" Diablo said...

I love the way you, with your magazine-editing background, can lead with these "grabber" opening sentences. I'm trying to master this skill so I can pick up some free-lance work. How's this?

"If the human body is 61.8% water, that makes lake Wingra 61.8% human!" That'd make somebody crank the recliner to Full Upright.

I appreciate the reminder and have marked my calendar accordingly. June 14th is a good day to steer clear of the Lake Wingra area. Maybe I'll go to Ho-Chunk that day.

Emily said...

Who are you, and what are you on? Seriously, I think you could market it for a hefty profit.

miriam said...

Cybergabi has lead me to your flickr posts and also to your blog. Funny how it takes someone in Germany to put two folks in Madison on each others' trails.

It is good to finally read your blog. I know so little about Wingra, and what a way to learn about it - through Melville.

I, too, have a blog on blogger - feel free to check it out if you'd like. www.insidespace.blogspot.com. See you on Flickr!

Miriam/herspiral

Dr Bud "Hammerlock" Diablo said...

Emily, thank you for your concern. I assume the "What are you on?" was directed to me, not the good burgher MadGuy, who is not on anything but Social Security.

The handful of Skittles I thought I was wolfing in lieu of lunch yesterday turned out to be antihistamines prescribed for one of my cats. It was in the resulting giddy state that I wrote the above senseless post, for which I apologize to one and all.

Now that I have reality dialed in again, I'd like to take another crack at that lead sentence. "If 'wingra' is the Ho-Chunk word for 'duck,' then 'Lake Wingra' must mean 'Lucky Duck!'" There.

While I'm online, I should mention that black gold is sitting at $124.48/barrel as of 4:30EDT today. As I predicted, MadGuy's call for $200 oil was the catalyst for a downturn on international markets. Those tracking my advice should roll their profits into more short positions. I am also initiating a BUY recommendation for the World Wrestling Federation (WWE:NYSE). Its sporting events may be fake, but the stock, "sporting" an 8% yield, is the real deal.