Muckraking Mendota: Learning to Love a Lake

This summer, UW-Madison undergrad, Emily Hilts, will be exploring Lake Mendota and the other Yahara lakes and writing a running diary of sorts detailing what she finds. Stay tuned for more great posts from her about the history and ecology of the lake, as well as closer looks at the animals and plants that call it home.

by Emily Hilts
Taking the kayak out on Trout Lake for the afternoon was against my better judgment. I hurt my ribs a couple of days prior when I took a tumble in the woods (log: one, Emily: zero), and paddling probably wasn’t the best idea. Yet there was no way I could stay off the water any longer, and after a few strokes I smiled with contentment at the sight of the clear rippling waves.
Even with an injury... who could resist this?
Even with an injury… who could resist this?
How I love this place – and the whole Northwoods! The frogs singing, the lichens growing on spruce in the bogs, the blue herons silently stalking prey, the mussels burrowing in the sand… if you’ve been here and paid attention, you know how all of these elements unify a wonderfully diverse landscape. During my last two summers working at Trout Lake Station, there were few evenings and weekends I didn’t spend on a hiking trail or in a canoe. After taking it all in, I can honestly say that there is no place on earth I love more. Keep reading here.