April 2020

Birds on a River

Swans on an English River

By Linda Moffat

I am a native Floridian and grew up in Winter Haven on the Chain of Lakes. I love lakes, rivers…being near the water. But I am submitting a picture I took in England that I really love. My husband is British and his mother lives in a little town called St. Ives. I took this picture in March 2016 when the River Ouse, which flows through the town, was swollen with spring rains, and the birds had flown back up North for the spring. It speaks of renewal, spring, new life!

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Whose lake this is . . .

By Michael Zahn

“The individual property owners whose holdings surround Lake Cane have vested property rights in the lake itself” — quote from “Water Rights in Florida”

Whose lake this is, I think I know:
The residents that swim below
or ride the pulsing winds that blow
and stir the waves where others ride
and rustle weeds where sly ones lurk
(and shy ones hide)

Whose lake this is, I think I know —
we see their spoor
and hear their caws and croaks,
their screeches, hoots and grunts and growls,
their pants and burps and barks and howls
(beware their hisses and their snarls)

Whose lake this is, I think I know:
Creatures who possess no title,
no paper trail, no deed on file.
Though the lake’s their domicile,
they cannot claim their rights at trial.
They cannot swear an oath
in court of law
by raising fin or wing or paw.
Their testimony goes unheard
for lack of speech, for lack of word
while progress ever shrinks their world.
Admit it! They’re the rightful heirs!
Their stake should be no mystery:
their presence throughout history.
(But lawyers wearing fancy shoes
won’t take clients that pee and poop
wherever they choose)

Whose lake this is, let’s all agree —
it isn’t you, it isn’t me.
We all share its biology
with organisms great and small.
And yet we’ve used it as our own,
a playground — and a garbage dump.
Swimmers and boaters remain enticed
while our fertilizers stifle life.
Pesticides and herbicides and runoff, too —
we’ve filled the water with such goo!
The beasts of water, air and earth
are begging us for its rebirth.
We humans are the curse of Cane
and also its redemption.
(We can make it right again
for mutual salvation!)

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Kayak Mascots – Island Pond, Swim the Kingdom Week 2018

By Paula J. Yankauskas

8 Lakes in 9 days – Swim the Kingdom Week (Vermont Northeast Kingdom), annual event in August since 2013. This photo is at the second lake, Island Pond in Brighton, Vermont. Each swimmer is required to have a kayak escort. The swimmers in this lake scene have been to Lake Cane! Not surprisingly, as it is part of marathon swimming rounds.

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