Discovering Eden

Discovering Eden

While writing my book, For Love of Lakes, I realized I needed to go beneath the surface to get a more realistic sense of what a lake was like, to get a perspective not possible from a boat or dock.

To do so I gathered my flippers, mask and snorkel tube, and dove underwater in five different lakes.

What an incredible experience!  My conception of a lake will never be the same.

First off, the fish were unafraid of me.  One sunfish came right up to my face and we stared eyeball to eyeball, motionless.  A sudden movement on my part and the fish disappeared instantly into beds of plants, reappearing a minute later as though curious about me.  The importance of plants to these fishes was blindingly apparent.  Looking through the green broken ceiling of lily leaves above made me feel I had entered into a rich gallery of shapes and colors.

I also came upon a variety of pond week known as “bass weed” and “muskie weed” because of their importance to fishermen.

Once I noticed a three pound bass was trailing below and behind me.  He followed me as though I was prey.  Fascinating.

There is so much more to a lake than meets the eye from a lake surface.  You owe it to yourself, kids, or grandkids to get a snorkel outfit and discover what a lake is truly all about.

(Speaking of fish, check out my latest article on sunfish in the May-June, 2012, issue of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer.)

Darby Nelson

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