Clark Lake from a Satellite

Where were you on October 13, 2016?  That’s when Google Earth’s satellite passed overhead and snapped an image of Clark Lake.  Here’s the latest look at the lake from high above the earth.

  2016 10-13 psGoogle keeps an historical archive of satellite photos.  Below are images dated April 6, 1999; May 31, 2005; June 2, 2006; July 25, 2010; October 31, 2011; April 3, 2013; July 14, 2015, August 7, 2016; and the latest–October 13, 2016.  The first in the sequence from 1999 is monochrome followed by the successive dates, in order.  As you see the sequence move forward, notice the changes.  If you look carefully you’ll notice how things have gradually changed.  For example, check out changes on Eagle Point.  (You can stop the progression of the slide show by putting your mouse on a photo, and then advance it manually with the arrow on the right-hand edge).


Car in Lake–New Developments

New developments:  The car that had broken through the ice near the west end boat launch is now out of the lake. A tow truck pulled it out mid-morning. At the scene were Columbia Township Police, two fire trucks and rescue squad–along with a number of observers.  

Bill Leutz reports the owner “has been parking on the ice everyday to go out and ice fish, but picked a thin spot this time.”   Thanks to C.J. and Bill Leutz for their photos of the car being pulled out of the lake.

fire trucks meta format

According to Columbia Township Police Chief David Elwell, the van did not appear to be damaged and there were no visible leaks.  The van drove away once out of the lake.  The DNR has been notified.

BJ Lyons’ Eagle Spirit One picked up the video of the clean up.  (For video of earlier this morning, please scroll down).

CJ Cox says “Channel 6 News arrived here at the end of the action…and interviewed some people.  The reporter said it could be on the 5 or 6 pm news.”  The Cit Pat also was on the scene.

CJ learned some additional information about the owner of the van.  He and a friend came out this morning from Canton in an attempt to free the van by themselves.   The friend brought waders, but the police and tow truck arrived before they had a chance to extricate it on their own.  CJ also learned that the owner had been warned by other fishermen not to park there because of the risk.  The car had been parked a few feet north of the boat launch.  Had it been directly in front of the ramp, the car would have been in much deeper water.

Earlier this morning, Eagle Spirt One, flew in for some overhead perspective.


This photo from early this morning, was taken by Bill Leutz. 

WKL car in lake 1 2017 01-16

This photo, courtesy of Cindy Naegele, shows the clean up.

Cindy clean up

Click here the review the story from earlier this morning.

Thanks to those who contributed to this story:  Bill Leutz, BJ Lyons, CJ Cox, Cindy Naegele, Ann Swain, , Mike McKay, David Elwell and John Calhoun.

Not a Good Moment

Here’s instant proof that the ice is not strong enough to support a vehicle, and a good warning to anyone else who wants to give it a try.

WKL car in lake 2 2017 01-16

Thanks to Bill Leutz who took these photos around 8 am today (Monday).

WKL car in lake 1 2017 01-16

This occurred at the west end boat launch.  According to C.J. Cox, this car had been parked in this spot for weeks. 

The car was positioned a few feet south from the ramp.  That area is shallower than the area directly in front of the ramp.  If the car had gone down there, it would have been in much deeper water.  

And from the air?  Here’s a look from BJ Lyons’ Eagle Spirit 1:


And the full motion video:

Clark Lake’s Splendor


Clark Lake is constantly rewarding its viewers with visual splendor.  This recompense spans all seasons and every hour of the day.  In this case, here’s a perspective of the lake under an almost full moon.  Thanks to BJ Lyons for flying Eagle Spirit One and capturing these wonderful views for all to see.


Above is a clear shot of the marina dock and the Pointe Bar and Grill as you look east.

Saturday Night at Clark Lake

The recent gray days disappeared with the splendor of another awesome Clark Lake sunset.  Clark Lake is famous for its amazing sunsets, and tonight’s work of art is another example.  Thanks to Bill Leutz who captured it from his Eagle Point location.

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Mr. and Mrs. Eagle at Clark Lake

Eagles PS 3

Two eagles parked themselves on the ice close to an open spot just east of Eagle Point this morning around 9 am.  According to Rich Bacon, who lives in the Pleasant View area, a fascinating turn of events played out.  And it’s something you don’t typically see. “Once the eagles had positioned themselves on the ice, ducks and geese that had been close to the shore apparently became curious.  They swam out and almost seemed to be teasing the eagles.”

eagles watching ps1

To Rich, that seemed unusual.  “About six years ago, I watched an eagle grab a duck that was in the open spot near my spring. The eagle spent the next couple hours enjoying an extended lunch.”  Why the ducks and geese weren’t wary is not known.  But Rich’s other observation might shed some light on it.  What he saw also explains the title of the article–“Mr. and Mrs. Eagle.”  Says Rich, “you don’t need to be a biologist to understand what these two were up to–it would be clear to anyone watching.”  The question now is when and if Mrs. Eagle will lay eggs and if and where they will hatch. Or if they were just having fun.

Eagles PS 2

Thanks to Rich Bacon who related this story and photographed it.  In order to get closer to the activity, he pointed his camera through a telescope.

In recent years, eagles have been showing up at Clark Lake.  Today, these two were hanging out at Eagle Point, which seems fitting.  They have also been spotted in other parts of the lake.  To catch up on our eagles, please go to Natural Encounters on this website.  Along with the eagle stories, you’ll also be able check out other natural phenomenon at Clark Lake.

For more information about eagles in the United States, please click here.

High Winds Forecast


Photo from late November storm by Bill Leutz

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory that includes Jackson County.  At 3:08 pm today, they predicted “southerly sustained winds around 35 mph, veering west this evening.  Wind gusts will reach 50 to 55 mph this evening.  The highest wind gusts are expected between 6 and 10 pm.”  For the latest forecast for our area, click here

Consumers Energy adds “This activity, along with the potential for light freezing rain…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.”  The number one cause of power outages are trees or their limbs falling on power infrastructure.  As Clark Lake residents know, this can also affect cable and Internet service.

For preparation for what to do before, during, and after a storm, CE encourages you to visit their outage center for helpful tips.  At this location, you can view an outage map, report an outage, and sign up for power restoration updates.    


Terror in Terminal 2

Americans everywhere feel the anguish of the random shootings at the Fort Lauderdale airport on Friday when 5 people died.  When you are 1500 miles away at Clark Lake, how removed from it are you?  In this case, the tragic event was closer to home than you might think.  The King family lives on Eagle Point Road.  Chris King is a pilot for Western Global Airlines. He was not more than 200 feet from the shooter.

Chris recounts “I was in Terminal 2, around the corner and up a flight of stairs from the baggage area where the shooting took place.   I was waiting for a Delta flight home for the weekend.  I had my headphones on and was beginning to watch a Showtime episode of ‘Shameless.’  Suddenly there was pandemonium—people running everywhere.  I pulled off the headphones and heard a woman scream ‘gunshots.’  I watched TSA running through yelling ‘code red’ and telling everyone to run for it.  And run they did, knocking over anything or anybody in their way, including kids, old people and luggage.”


Amidst the chaos, Chris exited the terminal and was on the tarmac for about 30 minutes and then was allowed reentry to the Delta gate 6 and 7 area.  Then along came what seemed like a nightmarish instant replay. 

“I heard more panicked yelling and people scattering.  I watched as SWAT covered the area.  These guys looked 100% military.  Three of them searched the area and a fourth watched their back. I was in regular touch with my son, Cody, back in Michigan, who was watching coverage on TV.  He told me there had been a report of more gunfire.  That explained the second wave of activity.”

After initially being told to clear the area, Chris and others were quarantined in the Delta area.  That was because the way out was through the crime scene.


Much later, Chris says “at 11:30 pm, they shipped everyone to Port Everglades.  That was an overwhelming situation–pure chaos as people fought over cabs and tried to get anywhere but where they were.  I was able to contact Delta and they made arrangements for me fly back home via United at noon.”  Eventually, Chris hailed a cab and found a room at Hampton Inn about 20 minutes away. 

About 7:15 pm Sunday, there was a knock on the door of the King’s Clark Lake home–there was his luggage. 

What are Chris’ thoughts on this episode?  “I regularly fly all over the world—Hong Kong, Dubai, South Korea, and the like.  I spend enough time in airports to consider carefully what happened in Fort Lauderdale.”  So what is his takeaway? “First keep your head.  Many people didn’t and caused potential harm to others and endangered themselves.  From now on, when I am waiting for a flight in an airport, I’ll sit along the outside wall so I can observe all that is going on. And I won’t wear headphones.  I normally hustle to the baggage claim, and that, too, will change. I’ll wait until I believe the luggage has arrived, and then pick it up.”

It’s fitting to conclude with a post by Cara King, Chris’s wife, who posted this on Facebook Friday evening “Praying for victims. Thank you, God, for sparing our family.”


The King’s: Cody, Cara, Chris, Caroline

Rebels Coming to Clark Lake

Rebel sailboats from all over the country will converge on Clark Lake this coming summer.  The Rebel Nationals will take place Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16.  Last year the event was held in New Jersey.dsc_0912_963At least 25 competitors are expected to arrive at the Clark Lake Yacht Club, which will serve has headquarters for the regatta. To give you an idea of scale, 29 boats participated in the Yacht Club’s Fall Regatta in 2016.  Typically there are three races per day for a total of nine.  The courses will likely vary depending on wind and weather conditions.


Rebels have a long history at Clark Lake.  The first Rebel was built by Ray Greene in the late 1940s.  Rebels bear the distinction of being one of the first fiberglass boats. There have been other manufacturers over the years.  Rebels are currently built by WindRider in Flint.  The company also builds other one design sailboats including the Lightning, JY15, Buccaneer, and Mutineer.


Not only do sailboats paint an amazing picture as they sail the lake, but the sport itself is competitive with thrills to be had for the sailors.  Spectators also find racing engaging when you understand the game.  To learn about sailboat racing on Clark Lake, including background on Rebels, please click here.  Bill Leutz researched Rebels, along with another boat built by Ray Greene, the Nipper.  Click here to read his story.




A Clark Lake Mystery

When the lake first froze this winter, ice covered all locations except for a few areas close to the shore.  Since New Year’s eve, a phenomena has taken place.  At first small, an open area at the west end off the Eagle Point shore, has continued to grow larger.  BJ Lyons notes “it’s about the size of a football field.”

Observers are baffled.  What would cause this open area?  And why is it growing larger?  There was a short period, measured in hours, when the temperature rose above freezing.  But for the most part the temperature has been below freezing.  In some cases, it has been considerably colder than that. 

On Thursday, BJ Lyons researched the unusual event, flying his drone over it.  The videos provide a perspective on the size of the open area and where it is located in relation to the shoreline.

John Deming comments “The open area may be caused by what’s going on underwater.  The area in question is relatively shallow.  A spring or springs venting from the lake bed may be a factor.  The warmer water flowing upwards may be causing the melt. These vents come and go, but it looks like one or more could be present in this area.”   

Here is BJ’s video of the lake soon after the freeze.