May’s Lake in Flood

by Carl Strang

Earlier in the season, May’s Lake at Mayslake Forest Preserve had significant coverage by floating mats of green algae.

No longer. Recent heavy rains have raised lake levels at the preserve higher than I have seen them in the nearly-two-years I have been there.

The trail was flooded all the way across in a couple places. One of those spots was at the outlet. The small outlet pipe was overwhelmed, no longer directly visible and marked by the whirlpool of lake water descending to it.

Consequently, water was flowing over the trail to reach the streambed.

It carried away almost all the algae, though some became lodged on trailside vegetation.

An associated odd sight was this small snapping turtle (2-inch shell).

Usually the only snappers leaving the water are females laying eggs, and individuals escaping drought-shrunken ponds. Clearly the last case did not apply here.

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