Friday, February 05, 2010

What's with the open water on Lake Wingra?

What's with the Open Water on Lake Wingra?
We finally bestirred ourselves from our winter torpor yesterday and went for a sunny walk in the Edgewood College woods and the nearby boardwalk along Lake Wingra.

What's with the Open Water on Lake Wingra?The fresh snow from the day before was was still pristine and white. The weather was mild, the sun was bright and felt warm and optimistic. We were startled by the panoramic view of the entire lake from the boardwalk, a view that's obstructed by a wall of marsh grasses and cattails in summer and fall.

Even more startling was this pool of open water near the shore of the smallest of Madison's lakes, which is mostly frozen solid this time of year. It's spring water. The local blog Unseen Madison has more:
Lake Wingra has open water here because of a spring. New Millennium spring, located near the boardwalk at Edgewood College, appeared in 2000. Lake Wingra’s springs may explain why it was at the center of an incredibly dense concentration of effigy mounds. About 8 of the lake’s original 30 springs still flow -- reduced groundwater affects spring output.
After all the grim gray and dirty white of January, the little blue pool of open water was a delightful foretaste of things to come, contrasted by the snow and ice on all sides.

4 comments:

David Thompson said...

You can learn more about springs around Lake Wingra here: http://saveourstream.blogspot.com/2009/12/unseen-below-our-feet.html .
Nice photo of millenium spring!

thechrisproject said...

That Hidden Madison link just goes back here.

Gordon said...

Great stuff! Thanks for mentioning our Unseen Madison site. The link to our site says "Hidden" Madison rather than "Unseen" Madison, which may explain why it takes you back to the top of your posting instead of to our site...

Madison Guy said...

Thanks Chris and Gordon. The link and name have been fixed. Yikes. Guess I should try to blog when I'm awake...