-Brenda Fekete, MLRC Lake Science Manager
Smoke on the water, darker mornings, the appearance of colored leaves, and the extra layer of clothes during our early morning boat rides suggests that fall is right around the corner! The WQ Initiative team is watching for the fall water profiles to replace the summer patterns.
Thank you, again, to all of our wonderful volunteers that have escorted the WQI team to the sampling sites. We will miss all of our volunteers that have headed home for the season, but sure look forward to seeing you all next summer. As for the brave, hearty folks that continue to take us out in the cooler weather, we so appreciate your help and could not complete the fall sampling without you!
Our weekly secchi disk transparencies, insitu water profiles and phytoplankton and biweekly nutrient (grab) sampling on all seven lakes will continue until fall turnover in October. We will also start the sediment sampling process next week. The Colby students have returned to campus and are working hard to complete the total phosphate/nitrate-nitrite and metal analyses. The FlowCam will remain at the MLRC lab and will be used for phytoplankton analysis by the WQI team and several Colby courses. Please come by and see the awesome pictures!
We will continue to post the weekly secchi measurements, temperature and dissolved oxygen data on the online interactive map, and the present and past data here on the MLRC website. Due to the fall season schedule, we will no longer display the data in the MLRC gallery. Please continue to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or comments about the data.
We enjoyed seeing everyone at the August 26th Water Quality Community Meeting. We look forward to seeing you at our fall presentation on October 14th at 6pm!
It was a busy, productive, and wonderful summer. Enjoy the beautiful Maine fall.
As summer ends and fall begins, the staff of the MLRC would like to thank all of the visitors who came to our programs, stopped in to ask questions, and contributed to our cause. Thanks to you, Summer 2015 was another successful and fun-filled season. Until next year, we will be keeping busy working on the Water Quality Initiative and planning for next summer. Though our hours will change, we will continue to be open to the public year round and will be hosting of variety of exciting programs throughout the fall, winter, and spring.
Here are a few highlights from the MLRC gallery and grounds gathered throughout this past summer.
The vibrant blooming of the Day Lilies were a sign that summer in the Belgrade Lakes region was beginning.
Several families of ducks raised their young in the stream behind the MLRC. These Wood Duck ducklings were a regular sight with the onset of summer.
Eastern Chipmunks regularly scurried up and down the path to the public docks – cheeks loaded with seeds gathered in the gardens.
Many species of butterfly (like this Great Spangled Fritillary) foraged on the variety native and native friendly flowers species in the MLRC buffer garden.
This dedicated crew of Colby students worked on the lakes and in the community as part of the ongoing Water Quality Initiative.
Weekly water quality data collected by Colby students was available to the public in the MLRC gallery and was presented at the weekly farmer’s market.
Visiting artists used the backyard of the MLRC as a muse for their watercolor paintings.
Moments such as these illustrate the diverse use this space sees throughout the year.
Expert Birder, Louis Bevier, taught attendees “birding basics” at the MLRC this July.
Bevier also lead the first MLRC birding outing this summer. Despite rainy weather, a determined group visited the Messalonskee Marsh where we saw this Virginia Rail.
The BRCA’s adopt-a-shoreline program used the gallery as a training space. Property owners were taught how to patrol their shoreline for invasive aquatic plants.
Crowds gathered by the stream for the annual Fourth of July boat parade. Hundreds of visitors stopped in to explore the MLRC and get updates on the ongoing conservation efforts.
We were fortunate to welcome back the students of the New England Music Camp.
We welcomed back Chewonki’s Traveling Natural History Program for another series of lectures.
Matt Weeks, a presenter with Chewonki delighted visitors with a program on “Owls of Maine”.
Great Horned Owl
A visit from Chewonki means hands-on learning!
This summer the MLRC displayed native fish, invertebrates, and plants in our new Littoral Tank (Pumpkinseed sunfish pictured).
Kathi Wall, Program Director, introduces musician Jud Caswell. Caswell performed as park of the Seven Lakes Concert Series.
There’s no word yet on if the “Long Pond Mermaid” was ever found. Logan will be on the lookout while gathering water quality data this fall!
Dr. Whitney King addressed a room crowded with community members at our Water Quality Community Meeting this August.
As we transition out of summer and into fall, we are preparing a diverse series of programs that we’re excited to share with you. We hope you enjoyed the your summer in the Belgrade Lakes!
(BRCA Milfoil Crew members working in Messalonskee Lake – Photo courtesy of Dr. Alex Wall)
Please join us for an update on the ongoing efforts of the Water Quality Initiative beginning at 6 o’clock. Learn how the Maine Lakes Resource Center is partnering with Colby College, the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, and the local lake associations to protect the lakes in the Belgrade Watershed. All are welcome.
In the meantime, the weekly secchi measurements, temperature and dissolved oxygen data is presented on the online interactive map. You can also find the present and past weekly data here on the MLRC website.