We’ve only been home about three weeks, but it seems like months since we were away. Time goes both quickly and slowly when all the days feel the same.
The only real local news (besides the sky-high Covid case counts in our health district) has to do with the lake across the street. It’s an artificial lake, created by an earthen dam, and it’s one of the amenities of our wooded development, with a recreational pavilion and a tiny beach and swimming area that are very popular with residents in the summer. We can’t actually see the lake from our house, because of a natural rise; the road runs along the rise, with the lake on one side and our house (and several neighbors) on the other. Our lawn slopes downhill from the road, and the house is just far enough down that we can’t see the lake. We’re not below the dam, though; that’s further along, angled between our road and the one that intersects it. (A section of that intersecting road is now closed, because the stream goes through a culvert under it. It’s causing the Amazon and UPS drivers considerable consternation. They can get to the southeastern section of the development through the back gate, but that’s not how their GPS directs them.)
Anyway, the lake level is normally maintained by an overflow pipe, basically a “drain” that opens just below the water’s suface next to the earthen dam, with a metal grate to keep out debris. The pipe goes down vertically through the water until it encounters the sloped side of the earthen dam, about 6 or 8 feet below the water’s surface. From there, the pipe angles down through the dam and comes out on the other side at the bottom, where the overflow once again becomes the stream that the lake and dam interrupted. Well, the overflow pipe apparently cracked sometime during the holidays. It began to leak in such a way that it was both draining the lake and weakening the dam. Five houses had to be evacuated until the lake level dropped low enough to no longer be a danger. (They were just allowed back into their houses a day or two ago.) The engineers brought in pumps to empty the lake faster, so at least the dam isn’t likely to give way catastrophically, but it’s still potentially unstable. The lake is more than 3/4 empty at this point, and will be kept that way until the dam is repaired.
The lake and the dam are owned by the property owners’ association (in other words, by all of us who live in the development.) Dam insurance is nearly impossible to get, so the POA keeps a lot of money in reserves for emergencies like this. But even so, it may require a special assessment on all the homeowners to cover the cost of repairs. The POA is consulting with state and local engineers to figure out what repairs are needed and to make sure the repairs are done right; they don’t want a worse disaster on their hands in the future. But it’s going to take many months to make the repairs… and once they are done, it could take up to several years to refill the lake to its former level.
The dam (the curve of shore to the right in the picture above) is now off limits, which means that Mr. Bookwyrm and I won’t be taking any walks along the lakeshore and dam for a good long while. And it’s going to be a smelly and mosquito-laden summer, with so much of the muddy lake bottom exposed to the air. (Some water will remain in the bottom, but not much.) The ducks are not happy, the beaver isn’t happy, and the Canada geese, when they come through, are not going to be happy either. As for me, part of me is sad about both the lake and the families whose homes could be affected.. but another part of me finds the whole situation interesting.
(A note on the photos above: They only show about half the lake. The other half curves off to the left, beyond the photographer’s left shoulder. I stood on the dam to take the 2016 photo; my husband stood in what used to be the shallows of the swimming area to take the second photo.)
- Ten New-ToMe Authors I Discovered in 2021 – Top Ten Tuesday
- Lightning in a Mirror, by Jayne Ann Krentz – review, tentative
- Sunday Post – 1/30/2022
The Backlist Reader Challenge
It’s not too late to sign up for The Backlist Reader Challenge again this year. If you’re looking to read the backlog of books on your TBR pile or To-Read list, come check it out! This challenge is for classics you never got around to, for all those ARCs you should have read a couple of years ago, for that series your bestie has been insisting you read for the past decade or more…for any and every book you’ve been intending to read for a while, as long as it’s on your TBR list and was published before 2020. I will only post this reminder until the end of January, but you can sign up through the end of November.
The review linky is finally up and working!
What I’ve Been Reading/Watching
Reading: I finished All the Duke I Need (Caroline Linden; ARC), as well as Briarheart (Mercedes Lackey). The latter has been on my TBR list since last year; it will count toward the Library Love Challenge and the current COYER readathon (to read something on a COYER friend’s TBR list.) Besides those, I also read Inheritance Tracks (Catherine Aird) and reread Agatha Christie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? I am currently reading This Poison Heart (Kalynn Bayron), also for the current COYER readathon.
Listening to: Thanks to Pandora, I have been listening to the music of my youth this week. No, not 1970s and ’80s rock! I was (and still am) very into British and Irish traditional music and British folk rock. So I’ve been listening to a lot of Steeleye Span, Maddy Prior and June Tabor, Silly Wizard, Andy M. Stewart, The Chieftains, Pentangle, Fairport Convention, John Renbourne, and a smattering of Welsh harpists, augmented by similar artists I knew about but didn’t own at the time, and some I discovered in my 30s (like the lovely Loreena McKinnett) or even more recently.
Watching: Star Trek: Discovery, Season 4, and Leverage, Season 1. We also tried Prodigy, the new animated Star Trek show aimed at kids, but we haven’t yet decided if we like it enough to keep watching. We’ll try a few more episodes.
Added to the Hoard this week
Library books: Every Heart a Doorway (audio download)
Purchased (Kindle, print, or audio)
Audiobooks: The Wind in the Willows (Chirp) (Click title for Goodreads page.)