Thursday 14 April 2011

L is for Lakes – that’s what L is for ...

Derwentwater from the northern shore near Keswick
I was (and am!) going to write about lakes .. but I note that Wikipedia tells me we only have one in England, and six in Scotland!  I thought we had a Lake District ... but who am I, a mere blogger, to know!

Lakes, meres (lakes that are broad in relation to their depth), waters,tarns, lochs or ponds – we all have our own terminology and understand our countries’ differences  - the word ‘lake’ comes from Middle English for lake, pond or waterway and from the Proto-Indo-European root ... to leak, drain.

Glenridding and Ullswater
Lakes – worlds doomed from their creation.  Feeder streams fill them with silt and their outlets cut every deeper drainage routes.  For plants and animals, lakes form isolated, ever-changing worlds.

Most natural lakes in the British Isles were formed by the action of the Ice Age glaciers.  Each lake is virtually a closed system – an independent world with its own shifting balance of plants and animals.

The sun ‘layers’ the still water and heats the first twenty feet or so, then there’s an intermediate layer of about ten feet of cooler water, before the unheated cold layer:

  • Life in a lake depends on oxygen, which enters the surface either from the atmosphere or as a by-product of plant respiration; 
  • The warming sun heats the still surface water, which floats on the denser cold water; 
  • As the sun warms the top layer up, an intermediate layer forms, through which the temperature drops rapidly;  the three layers do not mix; 
  • Therefore the bottom layer receives no oxygen, though it does receive a constant rain of organic debris from above; 
  • Then, in winter, the surface cools and the water circulates until it is thoroughly mixed with oxygen being evenly distributed throughout, and dissolved nutrients from the bottom debris are returned to the upper levels.

The vendace (Coregonus vandesius)
is England's rarest species of fish, 
and is only found in the Lake District.
(A freshwater whitefish now
only found in Derwent Water.)
Animals vary from lake to lake, and from primitive forms of life (water fleas, phantom midge larvae) to those we more easily recognise ... mussels, worms, shrimps and water boatmen; to reed feeding animals – dragonflies and damsel flies; to fish ... brown trout, pike, perch, minnows and eels.

Lakes support local wildlife, and attract a variety of water birds ... insect feeders, divers, herons etc and migratory birds find a haven on their journey.

Sadly pollution and our demand for drinking water are causing problems in some of our lakes ... as the water levels rapidly fluctuate ... this destroys the shore vegetation upon which so much animal life depends.

There is as elsewhere in on this earth ... a web of life in a lake ... all to an extent interdependent on each aspect of the flora and fauna, which as a whole rely on their tiny self-contained ecosystem that was created millennia years ago to exist within this world of ours.

These are Lakes - that is what L is for ..    

Part of the ABC - April 2011 - A - Z Challenge - Aspects of the British Countryside

 Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Blue Bunny said...

hilree!! Im back, Im back! yoo sees me??

hay, i nevir knowed the bottom of the laek gets no oxigin. i lerning so mutch frum yoo.

we lives neer a laek, which is akshualy a rivver, the lower coloraddo river, whitch does not join up wit the other coloraddo rivver (texis is a bit krazie wit things liek this.)

ennyway, i stil kant beleeve i seen you on viddeo. you iz mutch more smiley in reel life than on your Bloggir profile picture. i liek your smile. and your akksent wen yoo speeks!

wel, i waked up to put some watter in the dogs' bole.

now i goeing back to bedd with my blankie and teddiebare.


me -- BB.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi everyone - meet Blue Bunny .. special 'manigements' for the Funsterland blog - click through to see more!

BB and Hardwick .. my mother's bedside dog companion have been firm friends for many a moon.

We have diz speciles langwidge we spekes ..

Dat's de history!!

Cheers .. Hilree or Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hello BB - u're back .. I doos seez U! U bin buzy me guesses ...

This lirning fing is so interesting .. so much goes on .. and nows u tels me u livs neer a laek, dat's not no laek ... but running water .. did dey leaves the faucet or spigot on (oh boyz u hav funny words .. we use tap - simples!)

Yup - de video Robins put out is much more smiley dan my avatar fingymebub! Smilies end mi akksent .. differents?!

Dog sure do like fresh vater .. maybe from di laek? Sleep tite with blankie and teddiebare - Hardwick sends big hug ..

Me too and my Mama .. bye for now xoxox Hilree!!

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

hahahaha BB is cute! You guys made me laugh this morning... I needed a good laugh, as I have a headache and achy body... grr

I love your post. I live close to a couple of lakes, and I love going there, walking, boating, or just indulging at the view of the sunset on the water.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Doris .. isn't BB great - we do have fun .. Funsterland is all about that and BB does his managements very well!!

I hope that headache goes .. I've been suffering recently .. frustrating to say the least .. and achy body - hope it's not flu. Take care!!

We've got a pond here and a reservoir a few miles away .. and just walking around is so peaceful .. but I'd quite like to be nearer the Lake District!!

Thanks for the visit .. good to see you .. Hilary


I visited there some years back and the scenery is out of this world,
Well done on a excellent post Hilary,


Mason Canyon said...

Your post always amaze and enlighten me. Great photos too.

Thoughts in Progress

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yvonne .. again you're here so early - thank you!! It is a beautiful area .. we used to holiday there early on in our lives .. and I've always loved it.

Delighted you enjoyed it .. many thanks -

@ Mason .. so appreciate your comment .. and really pleased to read they enlighten you.

Thanks Yvonne and Mason .. good to see you - Hilary

Ella said...

I now so want to visit a lake! I do think we should try to save our lakes.
Always informative post~

walk2write said...

We must be thought connecting across the miles. Love reading the information you've gathered. My post today is also about a lake and another L...

Rosaria Williams said...

Great info! I live by a lake and can attest to all you mentioned.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ella .. me too .. a gentle stroll, with no time frame! As you say we need to look after our lakes, ponds etc .. glad you enjoyed it.

@ W2W .. have you - I must come on over. Presumably we've written different aspects .. I'm interested to see what other subjects the others have come up with!

@ Rosaria .. you sure do don't you .. I'd love to live by a lake - would be quite wonderful. So much going on ...

Thank you Ella, W2W and Rosaria ..good t see you here .. Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

This is wonderful. I love lakes. We live on beautiful Cluculz Lake. I saw a robin yesterday. So exciting! Thanks for sharing, Hilary. Wonderful post.

Golden Eagle said...

I've been to a couple lakes--they're beautiful places.

Great post!

Arlee Bird said...

This is quite fascinating information. I've always been interested in the Great Lakes in the U.S. They are so huge and mysterious in many ways. I'd love to take a lake cruise one day. Looking across a lake like Lake Michigan is almost like looking at the ocean.

Tossing It Out


Thanks for the comment Hilary,
It's being crazy that keeps me going.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene .. I love the name of your lake - Cluculz .. just amuses me! Your robins must migrate south at the onset to winter .. so Spring must be on its way. Lakes have so much to offer if we keep them clean ..

@ Golden Eagle .. the Lake District is quite special isn't it .. sort of draws you in .. to visit again.

@ Arlee - your lakes .. they're like Oceans .. bigger than our English Channel!! I'd love to ride the St Lawrence Seaway and include some the lakes .. a few weeks I guess! Our lakes are ponds compared to Lakes Huron, Michigan etc .. Great thought though ..

@ Yvonne .. yes - if we can't laugh at ourselves .. we've lost the plot .. and the future!! You're so right .. rock on down those slides ..

Thanks for commenting and calling in .. bye for now! Hilary

K.C. Woolf said...

Hi Hilary :)

Interesting post again!
I'm surprised there's officially only 1 lake. I'm hoping that's Lake Windermere?

The Lake District is such a lovely area.

Great pictures!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, Hilary. I've never really thought about how important lakes are, only how beautiful they can be. They NEED to be preserved!
Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

Helen Ginger said...

Gracious, Hilary, you are a great teacher. Every day there's something new to learn here.

Laura Eno said...

Why would wikipedia say that England has only one lake? o.O
Very informative, as always!

Karen Lange said...

Of course that is what L is for, and a wonderful post it is! :) I love hiking beside a lake, large or small, and enjoying the peace and beauty. Perhaps I need to find one this weekend - you've inspired me!

Happy weekend,

klahanie said...

My goodness Hilary,
A 'Blue Bunnie', 'A Golden Eagle', an even an 'Arlie Bird' (catches the worm), are visiting your awesome site. Gosh, you must be doing something right.
And now I am here, yes me, Gary from that shy and unassuming blog.
So Hilary, how the 'L' are you? Delighted to see another posting from you in the 'great alphabet challenge':)
This is fascinating information on lakes in Britain and I'm puzzled that 'Wikiwhatever' states there is only one lake in England. Of course, then again, in England we do have 'pretend' lakes. Near me there is a pretend lake loved by the 'Kipling's' and no I don't mean the cake makers :) Of course, I'm referring to 'Rudyard Lake'.
Cheers and have fun with 'M'.

Tracy said...

I'm learning so much from your writing. Only one lake - amazing. The Great Lakes between US and Canada are my favorite.

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Lakes were the center of my universe until I could live by the ocean. I have to admit...I prefer lake creatures to ocean creepies! :D

Tony Payne said...

We have some wonderful lakes in England, especially in the Lake District, but all through the country are smaller lakes, that make pretty spots for walks and picnics.

Nicely written, I just feel like a country walk right now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Just to clarify the one Lake 'challenge' ... purely a name .. there are plenty of 'lakes' .. but they're called meres, waters et al .. presumably for centuries .. only a definition etymologically .. so to speak!!

If that makes more sense?!

The English still call it The Lake District!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ KC .. just the naming .. & no - it's Bassenthwaite Lake .. but see my note above.

As you describe it The Lake District is gorgeous.

@ Ann .. you're right .. we do forget so easily don't we. Definitely needing to be looked after properly.

@ Helen ... thanks so much .. I find it so interesting too.

@ Laura .. as I hope I've explained above .. just nomenclature!! Been longing to use that word - now I can!!

@ Karen .. I hope you do get out and find your lake for a hike .. they certainly provide serenity and/or breathtaking beauty.

You too Karen .. enjoy yours ...

@ Gary .. good mix of animal life I have visiting don't I - it's fun!!

Now you're here: the Gary with the local ABC shop!!

I hope I've explained the nomenclature ... etymological derivation aspect .. we do have Lakes .. which we call then today.

Rudyard's parents .. I thought the Kipling's lived here in Sussex? Oh well .. a look up for another day!

On and On .. to M ..cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Tracy .. I hope I've explained the muddle .. above?! Lots of lakes .. much smaller than your oceans of lakes! The Great Lakes do look amazing and I've always wanted to visit sometime.

@ Amy .. we only visited the Lake District as children and the seaside for other holidays .. Oceans are slightly different. Living by the Ocean must be beautiful and fearsome at times .. and I can see your point re the creepies and would agree with you.

Thanks everyone for commenting .. I seem to have split my replies .. enjoy your Fridays ... cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Great post, hmmm only one lake in England? I'm sure that must be wrong too. Great information as always. Glad you are feeling better after feeling unwell, too :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. I hope I've explained it above .. our comments crossed.

Thanks .. I am feeling better .. another few days and I hope all will be gone.

So Lakes galore .. just called something else from times long ago.

Cheers enjoy the gloomy Friday .. cloudy up here! & I guess so with you. Hilary


Thanks Hilary for those lovely words. so nice to read first thing in the morning.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. mothers are wonderful and your poem .. says it all .. delighted it has given you a little lift. Cheers Hilary

Amanda Trought said...

Great lakes post, I've lived in London all my life and have yet to visit one, will definitely be putting on my list of things to do.:D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amanda .. great to meet you and to find that you're up the road in London .. so to speak.

The Lake District is certainly beautiful and well worth a visit .. enjoy the time there when you do.

Thanks for coming over .. good to meet you - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Michigan so I was surrounded by lakes. I used to love to swim in them. Now I like a clean heated pool. Not much for lake swimming anymore.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ TOny - apologies I think I must have missed you out! You're so right the Lake District is wonderful, but we have many meres, ponds, waters and reservoirs that we can walk round or picnic in.

Now the sun has come out - I couldn't agree more .. a good would be lovely.

@ Stephen .. the Great Lakes must be gorgeous .. but they're huge. We used to swim and be pulled around in a rowing boat on Lake Windemere in the Lake District - but I think I'd join you in the clean heated pool now-a-days ..

Cheers Tony and Stephen .. lovely having you stop by .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hi, Hilary. Great post!

Daria said...

I love the lakes (no matter what they are called) and everything that comes with them. Images of lakes are soothing and eye-catching so thank you for sharing the info and photos of blue bodies of water... :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susanne .. lovely seeing you again .. and glad yo enjoyed the post.

@ Daria .. nice to meet you - you're so right the lakes are just wonderful to look at .. especially up in the Lake District .. the photos are courtesy of Wikipedia.

Thank you Susanne and Daria .. enjoy your weekends .. Hilary

PS I managed to post these comments under my M .. funny things happened on the way to the Manor via the Lakes .. !!! Now I've caught them and repaired the damage!!

J.D. Meier said...

I'm a fan of lakes. I grew up on a lake so whenever I see a lake it's easy for me to flash back to triumphs and tribulations of chasing fish, turtles, and frogs ... and many canoe adventures.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. growing up with the lake right there .. must have been wonderful for a small boy - as you say so much to chase and do .. canoeing along must have been blissful. We rowed - but only visited the Lakes in the early part of my life ..

Childhood memories are fun .. cheers Hilary