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The Dynamic Great Lakes on Kindle    

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This critically acclaimed book is also available in paperback from many bookstores and online at, and many other places.


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Two Surfers About to Enter the Washing Machine

Two Surfers About to Enter the Washing Machine

My watercolor of surfers about to enter the “washing machine” so called because of the turbulent waters when the wind causes the surf to rise and then bang against the cement structure. This is a dangerous place to surf. Lake Michigan is treacherous and many have been lost to these waters.

Read more about all of the freshwater seas called The Dynamic Great Lakes in my non-fiction book. Available at Barnes & Noble, The Bookman, etc.

The Dynamic Great Lakes

December 14, 2011

A Critically Acclaimed non-fiction book about the five Great Lakes

The Dynamic Great Lakes is available in the new edition at Barnes & Noble online or in stores. It is also available at Schuler Books and Music, The Bookman, (paper and Kindle edition) and many other fine stores.

The Singing Sands

August 3, 2011

The sand on Lake Michigan has a high content of quartz that causes a high pitched sound when a toe is dragged across the wet sand. The little sprite pictured above is enjoying the beach immensely. Keep an eye on little ones at the beach. Keep a watch for rip current warnings. If a red flag is flying, no one should go in the water.

Every year people drown while swimming in Lake Michigan. The picture shows a rip current that is impossible to fight. If caught in such a current, swim parallel to the shore not toward the shore. Then after the rip current releases its hold on you, it is possible to swim toward shore.
Lake Michigan has a sandy bottom and sand bars. Under certain wind and wave conditions, rip currents can and do occur. It’s a good thing to know how to escape if caught in a powerful current.

Photo by NOAA

I love taking kids to the beach. Here is a watercolor of a very active child running on the wet sand as waves pound in.

I’m told that children learn through play. From what I have experienced, I believe that adults learn through play also. Our family has been playing in, on and around the Great Lakes most of our lives. We have learned a lot while we swam, boated, fished and beach combed. The lakes engaged all our senses: the splash of cold water, the sound of the waves, the silence of fog, hot sand underfoot and the way it sings when you drag your toes across it, the ever changing colors and rhythms of waves, the times fish bite the best. The Great Lakes have many lessons to teach if we pay attention.

Family vacations took us to all of the Great Lakes; the majesty of Niagara Falls; to the rocky shores of Lake Superior where we hunted for agates; to many embayments and open waters of the lakes to fish. My husband Norm, a gung ho fisherman, has caught nearly every kind of fish in the lakes: walleye from Lake Erie and the embayments of the upper Great Lakes, deep water fish such as lake trout and burbot, and the annual runs of white fish and perch from the pier at Grand Haven. When Pacific salmon were planted he found a bonanza of fish. Sometimes the rest of the family fishes with him: myself, our daughters and our grand children. When he took our first grand daughter, age three, fishing for salmon, he let her pull in a big coho…almost as big as she was. Then he asked her later if she had told the kids in the neighborhood about it. She said, ”No. They would never believe it.”

We have all learned so much from the Great Lakes; their ever changing colors, their beaches of stone or sand, waterfalls, fishes and birds, wetlands , and dunes with their succession of plants. In our play around the Great Lakes, we are always learning something new.

New information about the Great Lakes

The Dynamic Great Lakes, a non-fiction book about changes in the Great Lakes ecosystems, has just been updated and released in a fourth edition. 

 And there is more good news: the price is now $12.95 plus shipping and handling when ordered from the publisher. The book has been critically acclaimed and is under the Independence imprint. It may be ordered from the Publish America bookstore.

Enbridge, a Canadian Oil company, is responsible for a broken oil pipeline that is gushing oil into the Kalamazoo River.  If the toxic oil reaches Lake Michigan 80 miles away, it would be a disaster of tremendous proportions for all living things in and around the water.  I am heartsick about this.

The Great Lakes support an array of life including the people who depend on it for drinking water and for domestic, industrial, recreational and agricultural uses. 

There is an unparalled sports fishery for salmon and other fishes. I hope the EPA can prevent the oil from reaching Lake Michigan.  These waters flow into Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  It’s the greatest freshwater system on this planet.

Update:  The EPA stepped in to contain the spill before it reached Lake Michigan.  The oil spill has destroyed property along the Kalamazoo River, wildlife and marshes.  This should not have happened.

Pending Legislation
Update September 21, 2010. Looks like a pipeline is being proposed to go through the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge again: