Trail Walking

Algae on Lake Macbride

Nutrients in the Lake Macbride watershed created an environment where algae thrive. Blue-green algae covers much of the lake surface in the photo. The public beach a few miles to the west has been closed this season because of the presence of e.coli bacteria. There are likely patches of cyanobacteria where there is so much blue-green algae. During my morning walkabout every pond of water along the trail had algae covering most of the water surface. It didn’t used to be this way.

In Iowa there is discussion about whether the nutrients come from home application of fertilizer or from farm fields where chemical fertilizers are applied along with drainage tile which pushes them toward the Gulf of Mexico. It is a ridiculous discussion. Of course modern farming created this problem. Farmers depend on free contamination of downstream water systems to make margin on their investment in crops.

Despite reminders of civilization, I enjoy trail walking. Foremost, it is needed exercise. Even though one can hear automotive engines in traffic not far away, there is a relative quiet on the trail. On a Monday morning there were not a lot of other people out. Add cooler ambient temperatures and a partly cloudy sky, a trail walk serves as a suitable getaway from what ails a person. It also makes opportunities for photos like this:

Trail walking in Big Grove Township, June 21, 2021.

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