Sunday, August 9, 2015

Expedition to Brainerd Lake

Though this sounds like a real enterprise, in fact it's about a five minute drive away, and said lake, fed by running water like most lakes around here, is at the foot of a municipal park.  It was a favorite destination to drive HP when he was still more or less on his feet.  I have pix of him happily sitting by the water enjoying the views and birds.



here's a view taken from the bench he liked to sit on.

Oddly enough the bridge you see in the pix is not a rustic footbridge -- this is NJ, and it's a major highway with an endless river of traffic and noise. But the sound of the moving water is a great antidote to the traffic sound, and it's a peaceful place to sit.

I found a new feature since I was there a while ago -- a Rain Garden.  New to me, this is a great device for rendering runoff water from parking lots and streets, clean and filtered, returning it to the freshwater streams clean.  





 Here's the explanation and diagrams.

This one is near a parking lot, and consists of a sunken bed, with a lot of rocks and gravel and a pipe system for runoff to the lake (or the street if you're a homeowner and put it in your front yard) and the rocks avoiding standing water.  Good growing soil then mulch follow, and it's planted with natural shrubs and flowers.  This is a great idea, particularly since we have an ecological treasure under our feet.

About an hour south of here, in the Pine Barrens, or under them to be exact, is the largest freshwater aquifer in the western hemisphere.  Yes, surprising if your knowledge of NJ is derived from the Sopranos and corny NY comedians!  but nemmind that. We are reminded all the time that the storm drains feed directly back into our freshwater streams -- the water table around here is only about 30 inches below the surface, which becomes very obvious in times of great rainstorms, when it's well above the surface.  

A while back our local Girl Scouts did a nice stenciling project, with a turtle and a reminder not to throw anything into storm drains.  Every storm drain had its little motif.  Now they've been made permanent, with metal plates saying the same thing.

So here's how it the Rain Garden, another part of the freshwater conservation effort, looks, very subtle, fits right in.  




And the lake no doubt is most appreciative. This is a good fishing spot, which you can tell from the numbers of heron and cormorants and the occasional egret to be seen often diving and catching. The Rain Garden was financed by our state water company, yay, along with the work of garden clubs and the local municipality.

I did a little drawing of one view here while I was there, which you can see here

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