A Year on Clear Lake-Dec 28, 2012

Kissed by the fog-Dec 28, 2012

The fog was intriguing this morning. The first time I’ve ever seen it as it was. It hugged the lake, resting just above the water’s surface, and only a few feet high. Looking out across the lake it was easy to see the other side, but not so the top of the water. It gave the lake a fanciful, airy look. Like a blanket spread atop the surface, the lake lay lovingly, comfortably tucked below. The misty moisture lingered for a while, till a light wind from the northwest began to stir and chased the fog away.

I sensed something was amiss this morning, but just what, didn’t register. Later my husband mentioned that “they” were clearing the trees. That proved an understatement. Looking out across the lake toward the island with the lighthouse, it quickly became obvious. The island is being stripped bare. You can see how many trees have already been removed by comparing the photo taken November 19 (left), with this morning’s photo (above) and finally the one taken at today’s end (far right).

Not sure what is happening. The island has been intended for development for decades – going all the way back to the glory days of the space program. The property came under new ownership last year. Current plans (www.beaconislandclearlake.com) call for either high rise apartments or estate property – translates to McMansions – to be built in the gated community.

I don’t begrudge anyone wanting to live on the lake. I love living on the lake. But I don’t think it’s necessary to cut down all the trees, build mansions and put up enough lights to brighten a football field.When we first moved to the lake 14 years ago, the area across from us was undeveloped and heavily wooded. There was little light pollution – you could actually see stars at night. Since that time, of course, the land has been cleared, houses built and stadium lights installed. The stars have vanished.The owls we once heard hooting at night have vanished, too, and no telling what other manner of wildlife.

I think of the undeveloped Nassau Bay peninsular I visited a few weeks ago at the far west end of the lake; of the wildlife refuge that sits behind it filled with beautiful marshes, woods and wetlands. And I believe there must be a better way. That one can build on the lake, but still maintain the area’s natural habitat. How else can one fully enjoy the lake experience?

Living on the Lake is about more than just living on the water.