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.

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The Calm Before the Storm

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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. 

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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.

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On April 1st, Clark Lake offered this sunset.

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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.

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Drains being installed at section near the Post Office

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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.

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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.

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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! 

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Spirit Trail Cleanup–Saturday 9 am

The Clark Lake Spirit Trail Cleanup is a sure sign of spring, and it happens this 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.

Sheri Bush, Trish Boyers, Ann Swain on the Trail in the County Park

Sheri Bush, Tricia Boyers, Ann Swain on the Trail in the County Park

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.

Spirit Trail Brochure 2016-FinalColor2

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 cut through

Longboard Champs 2017

For nearly a quarter-century, players have competed to be longboard champs in the Clark Lake Shuffleboard League.  During the season, the competitors meet every Thursday evening.  The 2017 Championship Playoffs took place today at the Beach Bar.  The winners?  They are teammates BJ Lyons and Brad Beyer.

BJ and psBJ and Brad, part of the Blue Division, competed in the championship round against the Red Division’s John Menard and Tom Nelson.

Here is the scoring for today’s competitions.

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So what’s this league all about?  Joe Collins and League Commissioner T.J. Klein explain.

Along the way, there were special moments.  On his last pitch, Tucker Boyers challenged the crowd.  Then commentators Pam Chmiel and Meredith Szostek comment on Tucker’s play.

Your team scores by getting the puck as close to the end of the board as possible.  And if your opponent’s puck is closer than yours, then you attempt to push theirs off the board.

Here’s a look at the first place teams in action.

In these photos, you’ll see some of the other players–and spectators who were there to watch the action.

And of course, there was a lot of attention on the moment the top prize was awarded.

Below is a review of champions going back to the year 2000.

past championships

 

 

 

In Case You Were Confined to a Cube Today…

In case you were confined to a cube today, hooked to some machine, or stuck in traffic somewhere, here is our your escape.  This breath of fresh air comes from the shores of Clark Lake, where today the temperature rose to 70 degrees.  The pleasant breeze was strong enough to create white caps now and then, but its southwest direction mostly gently caressed anyone standing on a westerly looking shore.  

The video below starts with waves rolling to the shoreline, then provides a leisurely 180 degree pan of the west end.  Then it’s off to the east end, starting with the Eagle Point cove and making a full circle to the marina dock.  The final moment records the activity of one its 150 springs that brings fresh water to this sparkling miracle we call Clark Lake.  Enjoy!

Earlier in the day, these guys enjoyed the lake.

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When at Clark Lake…

When at Clark Lake, paying attention at sundown pays off.  That’s when nature puts on a show for free that money can’t buy.  Tonight was no exception.  Here are three different views of tonight’s performance.

First, here is a view from along the Eagle Point Shore near Lakeview West.

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Now another view taken slightly earlier from Cheri Fish.

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Finally, a few minutes after the sun dipped behind the horizon, the lake looked like this (once again from the Eagle Point shore near Lakeview West).

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Docks Going In

At least four docks were in the lake as of today (Tuesday 3/21).  The Eagle Point Cove led the way–Jan Baugh, Myra Breakey, Melanie & Mark Herman. 

In Pierces Bay, Flip Reynolds joined the first-in group.  Thanks to Kellie Garris for her help in putting together this story.

Michael McCarthy took his boat for a spin today, and with a purpose in mind.  His passenger was Carolyn Zader who was performing one of several water quality checks that will occur this season.  Thanks to both of them for working on this monitoring project that is important to the current and future health of the lake. The water quality program is sponsored by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation.  Below Michael’s boat is anchored, riding the waves created by a stiff northwest wind at sunset, in front of his place on Lakeview West.

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Foggy Sunrise

Fog can heighten the view in spite of obscuring detail as you can see in this Ann Swain photo from this morning.  The perspective is looking east from Hyde Road.

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The fog left its mark behind.  Eagle Point Road, looking south, glistens with dew.

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And from the ground, signs of spring are popping up.

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To review Rob Thomas’ photo and BJ Lyons’ video of the awesome sunrise on Friday, click here.