Many years ago, naturalist Henry David Thoreau wrote the following: “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful feature. It is the earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”
In North America, there are literally hundreds of thousands of lakes and ponds, so everyone reading
this blog can easily visit one without too much effort. Most people tend to use the terms “pond” and “lake” interchangeably, calling a small body of water a pond and a large, a lake. In many cases, this description would be correct. However, we, here near Presque Isle, have four bodies of water right in our own backyard. When we talk about Presque Isle, we need to add two more bodies of water due to the peninsula’s unique makeup.
First of course is Presque Isle Bay. A bay is defined by Webster’s dictionary as an alcove and a wide inlet of a sea or lake. Our bay certainly fits greater description, although it is actually larger than many lakes have visited. It seems that a bay can be as small as Misery Bay or as large as the Chesapeake Bay on our Atlantic coast.
The other is Presque Isle Lagoons, which are nothing more than a series of shallow ponds connected to Misery Bay. At one time, these were actually isolated individual ponds. Back in the 1930s, they were dredged together into one continuous waterway, and since that time have been known as lagoons. Webster defines a lagoon as a shallow sound or channels connecting to a larger body of water.
More specifically, a pondis a small shallow body of water with an even water temperature throughout its
depth. A lake, on the other hand, is a much larger and deeper body of water, and because of this, it has different layers of water temperature. For example, in the summer, a lake in this area has colder waters at its deeper levels than at its upper levels, which are usually warmer.
Whenever I am on Presque Isle, whether walking, biking, exploring, photographing or just writing, most of my time is spent at a wetland area or by a body of water. Mornings, sometimes at the crack of dawn, might find me gazing over a fog-shrouded lagoon, Misery Bay, Horseshoe Pond or Presque Isle Bay, hoping to shoot one of the park’s stunning sunrises. I have always considered Presque Isle just one big wetland and pond region.
Most people making the trip out to the park find that their visit is a pleasant one, perhaps even evoking nostalgic childhood memories of swimming on Presque Isle beaches, walking along the bay at dawn or just fishing in the lagoons or bay. Whatever images are stimulated by thoughts of Presque Isle, visitor’s encounters usually center on the natural or recreational activities that the park offers. I usually find that most involve the lake, the bay, one of the park’s ponds or the lagoons.
Presque Isle’s diverse collection of wetlands has a powerful aesthetic appeal. Artists, poets, writers and photographers are drawn to the park’s ponds, bays and lagoons. There are thousands of locations on the peninsula that elicit their deepest sense of creativity. The wildlife, birds and other creatures found on Presque Isle can and do provide hours of exciting field encounters.
To me, it is difficult to imagine anything more alluring than a morning sunrise over a quiet Presque Isle lagoon surrounded by the stillness of a woodland setting. Sitting on a log at sunrise and candidly watching a canoe gliding slowly and effortlessly through the glasslike water of Misery Bay as a Blue Heron glides silently across its path, has a dreamlike quality that eases me into still another day. Over the years, I have found the special silence of morning on Presque Isle is an acquired form of freedom. Slowing down and letting nature guide my thoughts makes each day a genuinely beautiful experience.
We are all fortunate to have this natural wonder we call Presque Isle right here on our doorstep. Take time to see parts of the park you have never explored. I think you will find a new world opening right before you.
See you on the Park!
This post was written by admin