|Throwing sticks for a happy retreiver|
Lake Galena was formed by damming the North Branch of Neshaminy Creek in the 1970's. The lake is is very narrow, about 2 miles long, and covers about 365 acres. The county park encompasses over 1,500 acres.
Lake Galena was so named because of rocks in the area. Galena is another name for lead sulfide, an important ore of lead. Lead was discovered in the area around 1860 when two people digging a post hole came across a large rock. When split open, it glistened and the diggers brought it to a blacksmith who smelted it and determined that it was indeed lead. A mine was established, which raised land prices, but enthusiasm for mining quickly waned. Towards the end of the 19th century, the metal ores were examined for both gold and silver content and were found to contain about 10-15 ounces of silver per ton of ore. A small gold speck was also found, which was deemed rare enough a find to put it on display in the Philadelphia Mint.
Lake Galena has been eutrophic from the time it was originally impounded. As the lake's watershed became urbanized, farm field pollution was replaced by runoff from suburbia, with the same net effect on the lake. In addition, fecal coliform concentrations have always exceeded Pennsylvania water quality standards due to both human and animal wastes, preventing any use for contact recreation and rendering useless the bathing beaches originally included in the lake design.
|The legions of Canada geese don't help, either|
|Canada geese circling for a water landing|
There is a lot of interest in improving water quality since the lake serves as a significant source of drinking water in the area. Water is purified in a treatment plant about 2 miles downstream. In order to ensure that enough water remains in the reservoir, water is actually pumped from the cleaner Delaware River (about 15 miles away) into the headwaters of the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek, which then flows to Lake Galena. When the pumping station was built in the 1980's (to supply drinking water and to provide a consistent source of cooling water for a nuclear power plant) it was very controversial and many people fought it, using the slogan "Dump The Pump." In the end it seems that any negative consequences of the pump were inconsequential.
|The trail around the lake crosses the earthen-fill dam|
|Wooly bear caterpillar|
|Long view (eastward) down the lake|
|Norway maple (Acer platanoides)|
_____For the last week, I've had a lone hen turkey coming to my bird feeder accompanied by a single poult. Based on its size, the poult probably hatched in August (rather than the more typical late May-early June). I hope it makes it through the winter; I've been putting out extra seed for mother and offspring - and rooting for them both!
_____On Tuesday, November 19, I'm going in for some surgery, so I won't be posting (or commenting) for a while for those of my followers who check me out regularly. I'll provide more details when I'm up to snuff again.