Turtles Debut En Masse

Today’s warm weather was all these turtles needed to start their season in the sun.  Temperatures in the high 70’s brought them to the surface, and they promptly returned to one of their favorite haunts–to Flip and Linda Reynolds place.  Flip has added a ramp to his dock so the turtles can climb aboard.

They appear happy to take advantage of the welcome mat.  Flip and Linda’s location, southeast corner of the west end or Pierces Bay, is a well known turtle hangout.  Some at Clark Lake have affectionately referred to the area as the “turtle patch.”  Over the years, kids with nets or fast hands have been known to catch turtles large and small, show them off to friends and family, and then release. 

Below, these turtles apparently were not satisfied with the dock accommodations, and found their way to the shoreline.  

Flip says his turtle ramp is minus a board, probably shaken loose in the wind.  If found, please call Flip at 206-3546.

In the Clarklake-O-Meter of sunset judging, tonight may not have been a “10”, but it’s still a reminder that a sunset at Clark Lake is better than most anywhere else. Stay tuned for another summer of Clark Lake amazement!


Beauty of Boat Wake

When do you find beauty in a boat wake?  At sunset if you’re at Clark Lake.  Bill Leutz captured the moment from his front yard along the Eagle Point Shoreline.

And if you lifted your eyes toward the western horizon, here’s what you saw.

Severe Weather Possible

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather statement and severe storm watch for Jackson County and many other southern Michigan counties.

“Mason-Lake-Osceola-Clare-Oceana-Newaygo-Mecosta-Isabella-Muskegon-Montcalm-Gratiot-Ottawa-Kent-Ionia-Clinton-Allegan-Barry-Eaton-Ingham-Van Buren-Kalamazoo-Calhoun-Jackson”

“Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible between 400 pm and Midnight. The storms will be capable of damaging winds, large hail to around 1 inch in diameter and locally heavy rain. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out either.”

You can get an updated forecast 24/7 for our area via the main page of this website.  Please scroll down to find it–and click on 5-day forecast.

At 4:31 pm today there were a few sprinkles in the air, and the sky and rumbles of thunder suggested something else was on the way.

Earlier today, Consumers Energy issued this advisory.

“This morning’s scattered storms across portions of Michigan will be followed by a more organized line of strong and potentially severe thunderstorms entering the southwest part of the state by 4 p.m. today. The storms are expected to impact much of the Lower Peninsula through this evening and may include wind gusts in excess of 60 mph. This
active weather pattern could result in power outages. Consumers Energy is monitoring the weather closely, mobilizing resources and making other preparations to quickly respond to any service interruptions.”
CE suggests visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter for helpful tips. At this location, you can visit the online outage map, report an outage and sign up to receive power restoration updates.

New Beginning at Ocean Beach

Today marked the beginning of a new chapter in Clark Lake history.  The old storage building in front the Beach Bar, between Ocean Beach Road and the lake, was taken down today.  The Beach Bar is investing in a new, attractive structure to replace it–one in harmony with its surroundings that will improve the look and feel of the area.  Mike McKay, of M-R Builders, tells what the Beach Bar’s John Collins has in mind.

Items in the gift shop may include Clark Lake memorabilia–shirts, hats, and local art.  Add to that ice for your raft ride and ice cream for the kids.  Mike comments “it has the potential of creating employment, especially for students on summer break.

The razing of the old building began about 8 am today.  Bendele Construction’s crew came equipped to do the job with Stanton Trumbull at the controls.  Although it took longer at the scene, you can watch the building come down here in less than five minutes.

The new construction will proceed under the watchful eye of Mike McKay.  As those at Clark Lake know, his reputation for excellence travels far and wide.  His work can be seen in 100 new and remodeled homes around our lake, as well as commercial buildings like the Pointe Bar and Grill.  Mike chose Carl Evanson’s A Plus Electric to build the power infrastructure, noting “Carl’s team knows what it takes to achieve our high standards.”  Carl and his family live at Clark Lake and says “it’s an honor to work with him on this project as well as others through the years.”

As you could probably detect from the video, the old building had been modified over the years.  Notice there are two sets of sidings–the original and one added later. According to a local resident, the structure once housed Gibson’s Marina.  It was a place on the lake where you could get your outboard worked on. 

Below are some photos that give perspective on the building’s location, and take you inside for one last look.  Most were taken just minutes before demolition this morning.




Clouds, Rain, Wind & Snow

Clouds, rain, wind & snow are on the Clark Lake agenda.  Extended overnight rain replenished the lake and brought the level significantly higher.   Check out this video of the Dam taken today about 9 am.

What’s ahead?  The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory in effect until 11 pm.

Ingham-Van Buren-Kalamazoo-Calhoun-Jackson-
Including the cities of Ludington, Baldwin, Reed City, Clare,
Hart, Fremont, Big Rapids, Mount Pleasant, Muskegon, Greenville,
Alma, Grand Haven, Jenison, Grand Rapids, Ionia, St. Johns,
Holland, Hastings, Charlotte, Lansing, South Haven, Kalamazoo,
Battle Creek, and Jackson
601 AM EDT Thu Apr 6 2017

* Snow will continue through the morning from near US-131 and
east through US-127.

* Total snowfall 1 to 4 inches with locally up to 5 inches.

* Strong north winds gusting to 50 mph, occasionally higher near
Lake Michigan.

You can always get an up to date forecast for Clark Lake and vicinity by going to the main page of this website.

In the 9 am hour today, rain, wind and mist were joined by snow.  Here is the view of the lake from Eagle Point.




In Spite of April Showers

In spite of days of grey, rain and now the possibility of snow on the way, Clark Lake puts on stellar performances.  This morning beginning was spectacular.  Thanks to Rob Thomas who captured the awesome moment from his north shore location.

RT 2017 04-05
As reported earlier today on this website, the sun peeked through the clouds just before setting.  Here’s another look at it.

For an update on weather prognostications, please click here.

The Voice of the Turtle

The arrival of spring means the Tigers return from practice in the south to play again in Michigan.  That moment was heralded for many years by Ernie Harwell on the radio broadcast.

From the King James Version of the Bible–Song of Solomon 2:12

And at Clark Lake?  When the first turtle suns itself on Flip and Linda Reynold’s ramp in front of their cottage, that’s also an occasion.  Linda snapped this sure sign of spring at 3:43 pm on April 2nd.

Turtle 2017 04-05

The Calm Before the Storm


This morning, Clark Lake is wearing its grey coat, and looking quite calm.   Is a storm ahead?

The National Weather Service has issued an hazardous weather outlook, that includes Jackson County.  As you will see, the prediction suggests our weather will be less severe than west and north of us. You can keep up to date on the latest forecast for our area on the main page of this website.

Today and Tonight

Rain will be heavy at times this afternoon into tonight. This may well result in localized flooding in typically flood prone areas. The rain is expected to change to snow after midnight north of Grand Rapids. By sunrise all areas north and west of I-69 should be seeing some snow. Significant accumulations are expected north of Grand Rapids by then, some areas may already have over 3 inches.

Thursday through Tuesday

Thursday will be a snowy and windy day north and west of I-69. Storm total snowfall may approach 12 inches on some places north of Grand Rapids, by evening. The strong winds and snow falling
heavy at times may cause numerous travel issues north and west of I-69. There is a chance of strong thunderstorms later Monday into Tuesday morning. Locally heavy rain is possible.

Consumers Energy offers this advisory

“A storm system entering Michigan late [today] could bring high winds and wet snow to the central and northern portions of Michigan with high winds and rain in the south. Winds will increase Thursday morning into the afternoon and will cover most of the state. This active weather pattern may include wind gusts over 50 mph and over 5 inches of snow, which could result in power outages. Consumers Energy is monitoring the weather closely, mobilizing resources and making other preparations to quickly respond to any service interruptions.”
Consumers recommends a visit to www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter for helpful tips. At this location, you access the online outage map, report an outage and sign up to receive power restoration updates.

Most of yesterday was grey.  But just as it set, the sun peered through the clouds with the reassurance that it’s still with us. 

This is not an unusual phenomena–overcast or stormy all day, then a brief glimpse of a sunset.  Then the next morning, there is a reset to the previous day’s look.  Below, a photo taken at 10:30 am today.

On April 1st, Clark Lake offered this sunset.


Sun Shines on Spirit Trail Cleanup 2017

The morning was chilly, but the sun was bright as several volunteers gathered to participate in the annual Spirit Trail cleanup.  In this short video, Dan Omo, project organizer, and Ann Swain, committee chairperson, tell the story.

The Trail follows Clark Lake’s shoreline.  Those on bikes, running or walking get a variety of views–the lake, forested areas, or traditional lake neighborhoods.  The maintenance is a volunteer effort.  The photos below illustrate the effort of the volunteers today in three areas–the County Park, along Jefferson Road, and in the Township Park at the head-of-the-lake.

TB 2017 03-11 Magic Forest 1Maintenance of the Trail is a continuing project.  Residents clear debris, trim foliage, and manicure areas near their homes.   Several weeks ago, Tucker Boyers, Bob Lajdziak and Don Fowler cleared a tree that had fallen in the Magic Forest (between Jefferson Road and Lakeview East).  

This is truly a community project.  Without widespread participation, the Trail would not exist.

At times there are large infrastructure repairs or improvements.  Two examples are shown below–repaving the area adjacent to the Post Office on Hyde Road and installing a new pathway between Rita and Grand Boulevard at the east end.

Drains being installed

Drains being installed at section near the Post Office

trail concrete in place

Building the new section between Rita and Grand Blvd

Infrastructure projects require financial support from people like you.  The Clark Lake Spirit Trail is not underwritten by tax dollars.  You can make a tax free donation to the Trail through this website or by mailing a check to PO Box 224, Clarklake, MI 49234.  Whether online or by mail, please designate “Spirit Trail.”

Reminder: Spirit Trail Cleanup Saturday

The annual rite of spring–the Spirit Trail Cleanup–takes place tomorrow, Saturday, April 1st.  

Would you like to participate?  If so, meet at the County Park at Ocean Beach at 9 am.  There are several locations around the lake that need attention, and Dan Omo, who is in charge of this project, can point them out to you. Coming equipped also helps.  Dan suggests bringing rakes, brooms, and shovels.

spring clean up ps 2015 03-22

The Clark Lake Spirit Trail would not exist without volunteers.  In fact, except for major infrastructure projects, it’s people like you who donate their time to keep it looking great. The Trail circles the lake, about 7.3 miles. It provides a path for runners, walkers, and cyclists to enjoy multiple views of the lake, neighborhoods and nature.  And it does so on a variety of surfaces.


So this Saturday, it’s about clearing away what winter left behind and preparing for another great season on the Clark Spirit Trail.  See you there! 

Spirit Trail Brochure 2016-FinalColor2