Have You Noticed?

sunset 1Every evening the sun sets farther to the south.  Most Clark Lakers know what that means–enjoy every last minute of summer to the utmost!

Click or tap any photo to enlarge.  Repeat to reduce.

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A Weed Problem?

John Deming packaging weedsClark Lake has always had weeds, but that has always been balanced with large areas that are relatively weed-free. That’s good news. Some lakes have had terrible weed infestations. In those cases the challenge has required political agreement, lots of effort and piles of cash to address the problem. And even at that, success in eradication or control is not guaranteed.

Clark Lake weeds have been kept in check because those naturally occurring in our lake don’t tend to overwhelm. Recently there have been some concerns that an invasive weed has made it into the lake. The likely source would be from boats (not thoroughly washed) coming to our lake from other bodies of water where this kind of weed exists. This invasive weed is the Eurasian Milfoil. This kind of weed multiplies rapidly and is hard to control.

Today John Deming took weed samples in five different areas of Clark Lake—near the County Park, Hancock Point (where the golf course use to be), middle of the lake between Eagle Point Cove and the north shore, sand bar in the middle of the lake between Mud Point and north shore, and near the Township Park. These weed samples were carefully packaged and are being sent by overnight delivery to botanists at Grand Valley State University.

Identification is not straightforward by casual examination. The Eurasian Milfoil is known to form hybrids with native weeds. At first glance the hybrid doesn’t appear to be very different from the native variety. But the hybrids multiply rapidly and can dramatically change the character of the lake. The Grand Valley lab is able to identify the status of the weeds by DNA testing.

As details become available, please find updates on this website.

Beach Bar on MLive

JohnCollinsandsignMLive has posted a story recounting the history of the Beach Bar along with some historic photos.  It’s always good to read more about one of Clark Lake’s favorite places.  Click here to check it out.

Another Clark Lake Special

sunset aug 19psAbove the lake we love, another special Clark Lake sunset.  After today’s storms that brought a couple periods of heavy rain came a special aftermath.  The day’s unsettled weather brought about the most settling sunset.  And it was ours to enjoy.

The Spirit of Fleet 58

Hobie Tues eveningWas it the spirit of the recent Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta that brought a Hobie onto the lake this evening (Tuesday)?  After all, the weather was challenging.  It had been raining on and off during the afternoon, it was cold (63 degrees), and the westerly wind could go right through you.  Perhaps a good time to be by a roaring fire–inside.  But not for this Hobie sailor who was spotted on the lake, not for one tack, but sailing for extended period.  The photo was taken about 8:30 pm, and there wasn’t much light.  So it’s hard to identify the sail number for lack of clarity.  But what is clear that this Hobie couldn’t be stopped by today’s fall-like weather.

And with autumn approaching, Hobies sailors should know that they are invited to the Clark Lake Yacht Club Fall Regatta.  Click here for more info.

Meanwhile, discussions are taking place on a return of the Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta for summer 2015.  That’ something that ought to help warm the spirits!

Cottage: What’s Your Name?

trainstation

The train depot stood at the end of Vining Street at the head-of-the-lake

The Cincinnati-Northern Railroad changed Clark Lake forever.  Starting in the late 1800s, Clark Lake morphed from being a rural outpost to a resort destination.  Dozens and dozens of cottages were built–and rented.  They were also named.  Learn about this fascinating chapter in Clark Lake history in Historical Perspectives.  Or simply click here!

Clark Lake Light Show

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Already?? These leaves were spotted today (Friday) on North Lake and Pleasant View.

It’s August, and some trees are already preparing for what’s ahead (see photo).  But August also brings a night time light show.

This year’s light show plays out in two ways.  We’ll see the full moon on Sunday, August 10th.  And between August 11th and 13th, the Perseid meteor display is at its peak.  This shower of meteors is the debris that the comet Swift-Tuttle left behind. As we see this fiery aftermath in our sky, it will appear to us as many shooting stars.

The full moon will compete with our view of the meteor shower.  But because this is about the year’s most spectacular show of this kind, the opportunity to view is still strong. The shower produces between 50 and 100 meteors per hour with the most coming just before dawn.  Here are at Clark Lake, some enjoy watching from either a dock or out in a boat.

Like to learn more about what’s going to happen?  Click here.

Wedding on the Lake – July 27, 2014

bw bride on boat

The bride on board the Andale’

Becky Consonni tells the story of how Angel Hill and Eric Gormley were married at Clark Lake:

Anyone planning an outdoor wedding knows the challenges. But in spite of the risks, this Clark Lake wedding was an amazing experience on Sunday, July 27th!

If there is anyone who knows how to plan a wedding celebration, it IS Angel! Angel has decorated and helped plan hundreds of beautiful events. Her experience must have served as inspiration, as this event was MOST unique!

Angel Hill married Eric Gormley* on their pontoon raft decorated beautifully with smilax garland, feather protea, yellow and white spider mums, pink and white roses, bee hive ginger, pink ginger, and mokara orchids. Angel says, “My bouquet was feather protea, white spider mums, David Austin bridal white garden roses, scabiosa pods, white hydrangea.” Angel’s beautiful daughters (her bridesmaids) wore crowns of flowers that were pin cushion protea, green hydrangea, Juliet garden roses, and hanging amaranthus.

It was early afternoon on the day of the wedding and severe storm showers were forecast. As the dark storm clouds started rolling in, we proceeded with our plans—chilling the champagne and attaching white flowers to the Consonni raft. This was hopeful and positive anticipation–and then I kept thinking, are we going to do this? YES!
Meanwhile, next door, John Calhoun,** donned his sporty straw hat. Accompanied by his wife, Jackie, he started up his beautifully restored 1940-Chris Craft, the “Andale’” (translation “HURRY UP!”). They made their way along the shoreline of Oakwood Park towards the dock of Susan Psychas’. This house had a special significance. It had once belonged to Angel’s grandparents.downtheaisle

At the proper moment, the door opened. Through it came bridesmaids Tricia and Courtney, crowned with beautiful flowers and wearing classic tiered dresses of a beautiful ripe, summer peach shade. Next came the bride with her Dad, Dick Chamberlain at her arm.*** They walked down the dock, that served as the bridal aisle, to John Calhoun’s boat, idling at the end of the dock. Angel’s beautiful white halter dress was made of elegant Alecon’ lace and had pearls throughout. There were more pearls gracing the neckline in a classic choker style. Her veil was Juliet style and flowed in the wind.

Angel’s dad helped her onto the Andale’. As she sat up on the back seat of the shiny wooden inboard, she looked like a queen. With all eyes on this magnificent procession, John guided the boat to the raft. Oh so carefully Angel stepped onto to the beautifully decorated raft for the ceremony, as Journey’s “Open Arms” played.

There was great neighborhood support. Before the Calhoun’s picked up the bride, friends and family of the bride and groom had gathered on nearby docks to board pontoon rafts. Off we had gone into this windy uncertain day to the designated spot at the west end of the lake. After some jockeying around, anchoring and roping our crafts together, the music had begun. You could hear Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” playing from a loud speaker on the groom’s pontoon raft.menacing clouds

The Reverend John Reed of Clark Lake Community Church officiated a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony. [Please see Rev. Reed’s comments, below]. As he addressed the couple and congregation, threatening storm clouds appeared in the northwest sky. But as quickly as those clouds arrived, they parted and rolled around us. I hardly noticed. We were transfixed on the bride and groom. Why it did not rain was a miracle in itself. God truly blessed this union–and all of us! (By the way, those threatening clouds were a perfect backdrop for us amateur photographers. As any real photographer knows, lighting is everything!)ceremony

After Reverend Reed invited Eric to kiss his bride, champagne corks popped and bubbly flowed to the adults on adjoining boats. Our little raft parade then proceeded down the length of the lake to the Beach Bar to drop off the bridal party and family for the reception. We made our way back to our place through a wicked wind and docked in time to cover the raft–and THEN came the downpour. Amazing!

It was one of those old fashioned Clark Lake storms you remember as a kid. To this day, a storm like this still excites.

toast on boatAs the rain continued, we returned to the Beach Bar for the reception, this time by car. Friends and family ate, and there was a toast by the best man and Angel’s daughter. The food that the Beach Bar provided was excellent, and the choice of assorted, delicious pies from Meckley’s Fruit & Flavor Farm made us all VERY happy. The storm ended after the wedding meal as if on cue. As usual, the Beach Bar had a great band—Leisure Machine.

In keeping with Eric’s career, the decorations at the reception had a musical theme. Guests were intrigued with a guitar case lined with lace. In it, gifts were placed. There were guitar picks with the couple’s pictures on them and a Bird of Paradise arrangement on each table! A table was set up with the record album covers on it, and the bridal party asked guests to autograph them. These albums were from famous artists that Eric had worked for. All tastefully done with fans all around. Real FANS. I thought that was very clever as we are all FANS of Eric and Angel’s special day. One we shall never forget.bride and groom

*Angel is owner of Angel’s Floral Creations on Main Street, Brooklyn, MI. Angel is proud of her husband, Eric who is currently on tour with Peter Frampton. He is a guitar technician who has toured with Ted Nugent, The TranSiberian Orchestra, Blue Oyster Cult, Ministry, Rainbow, Bonnie Tyler, Kenny Wayne Shepard, and many more. He was the bass player in many local bands: Mr. Grinch and Tipsy Fluze.

**John Calhoun, Treasurer of Columbia Township is owner of the classic Chris Craft, the Andale‘. He ran for State Representative (R) in 65th district.

***As they walked down the dock/aisle I, was thinking as a happy afterthought that I had pushed in that old nail on the board in the middle of the dock! Glad that it hadn’t jumped back up to catch the bride’s dress.on the boat cropped

 Comment from Rev. John Reed:  “This is a great article! I have performed many weddings, but never one like this. When I asked Angel if we were going to have any kind of rehearsal she said: ‘No, I’ll have it all planned out and everyone will know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do.’ Amazingly, she was right on the money and it all went practically perfectly! I am so glad that they asked me to be a part of such a special day. They are a great couple and I pray that God will richly bless their union!’

Pine Riders Water Ski Club

Pine Riders winners 1961

Joey Reynolds, Larry Failing, Lynn Vermeulen, Sally Searles, Charlie Timberlake, Phil Curtis, Buzzy Belcher (photo: Belcher family)

An important part of Clark Lake are the events, and some of those include competition.  Two very recent examples are Raft-O-Rama and Run Clark Lake.  In the 1960s, water skiing ruled.  And the epicenter of that activity was the Pine Riders Water Ski Club.

The photo is a “winner’s circle” picture from a Pine Rider’s meeting, likely from 1961.  Do you recognize the winners of the day?  (Tap or click to enlarge).  Some in this group were regulars at water skiing winner’s circle, whether it was slalom, tricks, or jumping at Clark Lake or elsewhere.  (If corrections to the names mentioned are needed, please email clarklakespirit@gmail.com.)

Clark Lake has a magnetic effect on those who have spent time here, especially if that “time” was when you were young..  You never quite get Clark Lake out of your system.  Even if you leave, it lures you back. One of the winners in the photo is someone who hasn’t been to Clark Lake since 1982–Charlie Timberlake. Charlie says he’s planning to visit August 12 thru 18 and hopes to reconnect with friends from the Pine Rider days–and among other things, looks forward to revisiting “quiet evenings on the porch watching the sunset.” Reach out to Charlie at (203) 801-0871 or chasman89@gmail.com.

Jefferson Road Paving

Jefferson Rd paving

Near the corner of Jefferson and Eagle Point Roads, Monday at about 7 pm.

Crews are working on Jefferson Road today and this evening (Monday).  The current part of the project is paving both lanes from 127 to Hayes Road.  This could mean delays for motorists as this work is being done and only one lane is available for traffic.

Once Jefferson is resurfaced, you won’t believe it’s the same road.