"In the night...the scream of the rabbit is terrible. But the scream of the owl which is not of pain and hopelessness and fear of being plucked out the world, but of the sheer rollicking glory of the death-bringer, is more terrible still. When I hear it resounding through the woods, and then the five black pellets of its song dropping like stones into the air, I know I am standing on the edge of the mystery, in which terror is naturally and abundantly part of life, part of even the most becalmed, intelligent, sunny life--as for example, my own. The world where the owl is endlessly hungry and endlessly on the hunt is the world in which I live, too. There is only one world."
Mary Oliver, Blue Pastures

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Summer Rumble: Dredge III

In 1854 George Ruble built a dam across the Shellrock River to power a mill. The wandering 521 acre lake was named Fountain Lake.  Albert Lea grew up around it and the much larger natural Albert Lea Lake. We live on a back bay of Fountain Lake, which people often refer to as Edgewater Bay after the local park. Residents of Oakwood know that is patent nonsense because it is obviously Oakwood Bay.

Sediment invariable fills in lakes behind dams, it is just a matter of time. There are a number of streams which flow through farmland and feed Fountain Lake. Farming methods have improved, but there is still a lot of farm soil filling the bottom of the lake making it shallower every year. The bottom mud has been dredged out two times in the past, once in the early 40s and then again in the 1960s. This summer begins Dredge III, and three days ago it begans in Oakwood Bay.


We live where we live because it is wooded, friendly and more or less cut off for the rest of the city. And quiet. I said quiet. Not this summer. The floating mud factory runs every day 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. A continual low rumble. Actually less obstrusive than a train running by because the sound is even and continual. And theoretically could cause insanity.