Tuesday, February 18, 2014

To Sooner Lake

Sooner Lake.  Description follows.  Click to enlarge.
In several areas around the world, people have to become accustomed to dealing with high winds. Knowing that you are not alone in your discomfort somehow doesn’t make the winds any more bearable, however. Some deal with Nor-easters, some face gales, Siroccos, the Mistral, Meltemi, and Chinook. In fact, if you look them up, it appears there are 64 names for local wind conditions. Here in Northwest Oklahoma, we just call them Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday. Actually, it’s more like Tuesday AND Wednesday AND Thursday AND so on for weeks at a time. Yesterday the wind was blowing 40-50 mph, with gusts in one area in the sixties. Ho-hum.
If we had a bit more convection, like we will in April and May, the meteorologist says we would be having tornados tomorrow. Personally, I can wait.

Walking along the shore of the lake.
Anyhow, from Perry Lake, we continued north to Sooner Lake. There was not a hint of ice there, and there’s a reason for that. The lake is owned by Oklahoma Gas and Electric, and they have a large power plant there. The lake provides cooling for the generating plant. In the photo, you can see the plant in the top left. A thin line runs east and west across the top of the lake, and another runs north and south at about the west quarter of the lake. These are breakwaters, or rock walls, that control the water flow in and out of the plant. The discharge comes out of the plant at the top-left, flows between the breakwater and the shore until it spills into the lake at the top-right. It then circulates clockwise around the lake, passing through a canal between the shore and an island at the bottom, then flows north between the breakwater and the shore until it finally is drawn back into the plant again. The lake covers just shy of 70-square-miles and has a 51 mile shoreline. The warming keeps the fish happy, and according to one source, of the 23 record trophy fish taken in Oklahoma, 19 of them came out of Sooner Lake. There are a number of species that call Sooner Lake home, but the two most sought after are large-mouth bass and huge catfish.

A couple coots in a small branch off the lake.
We walked a couple miles along the west shore where the land is kept natural for wildlife and some cattle. We saw a number of deer trails and tracks, but nothing of the deer themselves. The birds were enjoying the warm weather as much as we were, and they sang their hearts out, especially the meadow larks.
The banks of cirrus clouds that had moved in and out all day often made the sun fade, but as we drove west, they gave us a long and spectacular sunset. Some days are just meant to be special.

No comments:

Post a Comment