Thursday, May 28, 2009


Like each of the other four* Great Lakes, Lake Erie has many moods. All of them have their appeal, except maybe the wildest storms if you live right on the shore like I do! I think my favorite mood of the lake is when it's perfectly calm, almost mirror-like, and the light and air play tricks with the horizon and perspective, making things like fishing net floats look like a string of beads floating in some strange cosmic void. (click for best viewing)

Lake Erie is:
  • the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by surface area (and the tenth largest lake globally) but is the smallest and shallowest of the Great Lakes by volume - and therefore is the warmest, and has the shortest average water residence time.
  • bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by the state of Michigan.
  • named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore.
  • an average depth of 62 feet (19 m) and a maximum depth of 210 feet (64 m). For comparison, Lake Superior has an average depth of 483 feet (147 m).
  • primarily fed by the Detroit River (from Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair) and drains via the Niagara River and Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario.
  • home to Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland, located on a peninsula extending into the lake. Several islands are found in the western end of the lake; these belong to Ohio except for Pelee Island and 8 neighboring islands, which are part of Ontario.
  • host to a number of cities on it's shores, including Buffalo, New York; Erie, Pennsylvania; Toledo, Ohio; Port Stanley, Ontario; Monroe, Michigan; and Cleveland, Ohio, and of course, Leamington , Ontario where I currently live!
* In 1998 Lake Champlain was officially declared the sixth Great Lake. I've been on Lake Champlain, it's a very nice lake, although definitely the runt of the glacial litter compared to the truly great ones surrounding the Michigan mitt, where I grew up. To me there will always be just five Great Lakes!


Lin said...

how fun to live so close to water, like vacationing year round.

Sylvia K said...

I know that I love living close to the water -- for someone born and raised in Texas, I have a peculiar attachment to the water, so I do relate to your feelings about where you live. I always love your photos that show that peaceful looking Buddha! Have a great weekend, Deborah!

Indrani said...

Lake view home! What fun!
Thanks for the info on the lake. :)

bobbie said...

A fact filled post. And two really beautiful photos!

jinksy said...

Light and water are always a magical combination...lovely picture.

Aleta said...

I love how the horizon blends together. Never realized there was an official 6th great lake! Interesting stuff there. Thanks for sharing.

Shellmo said...

I love our magnificent Great Lakes! Beats the ocean anyday in my book!

Ruth said...

I saw Lake Erie for the first time 2 years ago and I have lived in southern Ontario for over 45 years. We lived near Toronto and vacationed near Kingston each summer, then moved to SW Ont and vacationed at Lake Huron or further north. Your area is very beautiful indeed!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post and lots of facts to go with the photos. Is that pink a common color in the evenings? I have seen it in your photos quite a bit.

Have you always had a place on the shoreline?

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Deborah! I was born and raise in southern New Jersey. Delaware Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean the other. I agree with Sylvia about the peculiar attachment. It is very calming. Except for the bugs you have there:o), I would feel quite comfortable on your lake. Lisa

Rose said...

I love calm waters so am sure that would be my favorite with any of the great lakes.

Aside from that, you sure told me a lot I didn't know....I just wish I could remember even half of it.

mom/caryn said...

Your photo of the "string of beads" (fishing floats) is captivating.

I've so enjoyed the pictures you've shared with us. It's a lovely place to spend your life. I too love water... but, I like it calm. I've lived near (and for one magical summer, ON) the ocean. I know how frightening it can be when it's stormy. Water is a power to be reckoned with.

But it breeds tranquility when it's at peace.

This was extremely interesting to read.

Quiet Paths said...

This was really an interesting read. I had no idea that there was such a depth difference between Erie and Superior. What a lovely spot you picked!

Dee Martin said...

I'm having such fun wandering around your blog. Lake Saint Clair was my back yard for most of my youth :)