Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Superior Lake

Louise Erdrich - Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes reads like a mystery -- how on earth will people and the lakes themselves defeat invasive species like the sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels, alewives?  Dan Egan makes the story of each battle epic, full of colorful characters and bold acts.  A reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Egan knows how to pare a story to its most interesting elements.  Having finished the book, I immediately started over.  (I can't remember the last time I've done that.)  More questions:  Will the deep troughs, now drains, that have been mistakenly engineered to assist large vessels, draw down the lakes?  Will the salmon. or the whitefish and other native species, triumph in the end?  And what of the waterless states fed by the shrinking Colorado River?  There have always been plans to pipe Lake Superior out of MInnesota.  When and how will our fellow Americans come for this vast, but finite, treasure?   

Taken for granted, spoiled, fished out, over-loved, will the Great Lakes survive us?  Probably, in some form, but we could very well not survive their loss.  So this book is on my MUST READ list.  Suspenseful, superbly informative, crucial.  I also love Egan's portraits of people working for and against the lakes -- a "World War II veteran named Vernon Applegate showed up and did what no creature in the past 360 million years had apparently been able to do.  He got under the lamprey's skin.  He figured out how it migrates and how it hides.  How it feeds, how it breeds, and how it dies.  And then he put a stake in it." 

If you don't know what a sea lamprey is, look it up.  You are in for a treat.  Bring this book to any lake this summer, any beach, and be grateful for Applegate.

Post a Comment!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Video Magers and Quinn Catalyst local economy aquifer Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge Too Much Happiness Patrick O'Brian graphix Milkweed Press National Book Award photography Anishinabe The Porcupine Year Jim Harrison france how good looking you are Tar Sands Population Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive 2666 Minnesota monkey in a dryer Remarkable Trees Bill Moyers Journal Wendy Makoons Geniusz Nemesis Poetry incarnation H2Oil The Blue Sky Alice Munro Anishinabemowin Aubrey/Maturin anniversary trees Empire of the Summer Moon Louise Bleak House Peak Oil peculiar touches of green and gold favorite tree Crushing Books Light in August pilgrims Education sweden plants Alan Weisman Easter Island Chitra Divakaruni Peak Water Islam Guthrie Theater The Farmer's Daughter Mohamed's Ghosts Afghanistan Climate Change bill mckibben The Ojibwe Up Late Again customers cafe closing The Birchbark House Native People Philip Roth Interview E.L. Doctorow cafe Gryphon Press Keepers of the Trees Gail Caldwell Minneapolis Book Review book and dinner club Too Loud A Solitude Hillary Clinton gratitude joy Wolf Hall favorite dog More Remarkable Trees Green Team Gary Clement Roberto Bolano NACDI:All My Relations State Troopers twins World on the Edge Fireworks buffalo Small Bookstores as Commons School Gardens Czech Writer devoted customers thanks President Obama Victory Gardens Vic Glover The Royal Prussian Library Canada Let's Take the Long Way Home birchbark house series Chickadee Kate DiCamillo Tree Houses tree books Collective Denial This Green World Hilary Mantel gardens Aza Native Arts The Wealth of Nature Kabul Ojibwe Brown Dog Birchbark Books Greenland solstice, Thomas King mississippi Mankato Powwow knowledge health care reform S.C. Gwynne support William Trevor Anton Treuer coyote Bohumil Hrabal The Round House Love Ice post holiday germany Dogs Nero Wastepaper Stephen Salisbury Rare Books city of books Unnatural Disasters Pembina British Navy The Transition Handbook favorite book Kenwood Gardens Botany neighborhood The Resilient Gardener china north dakota boarding school Ojibwemowin thank you friends euphoria post holiday reads ependent The Game of Silence Ha Jin japan Beth Dooley green ireland language revitalization fresh water show your love leaves and snow Women and Trees Makoons spring ptsd Dartmouth Keystone XL friends italy Master Butchers Singing Club adventure Emily Johnson Zombies Michael Jackson the most romantic city in the world