I’m excited that Nerd In The Brain has picked “Splish-Splash” the theme for this weeks “Go Play Go Learn” challenge! Yet another opportunity to talk about Waldo Lake, where I just had the most excellent vacation. 🙂
Waldo is the second-largest lake in Oregon (the largest, Crater Lake, also got a visit on this trip!). Located in the Cascade Mountains, in the Willamette National Forest, Waldo is at the elevation of 5,414 feet. The lake basin was carved out by ancient glaciers, and is one of the purest lakes in the world.
Waldo is fed by underwater springs and snow-melt. The water from the lake feed – eventually – into the Willamette river (the North Fork, of the Middle Fork of the Willamette, to be exact).
The lake is beautiful – when you’re out in the middle of it the water is so many amazing shades of blue. It’s also such a large body of water there are lots of different “faces” to it. It can be perfectly calm and still, reflecting the landscape and the sky around it. Other times it can be choppy with waves whipped up by the wind.
This year there has been a particularly dry year, with a very light snow-pack, so the water level is quite a bit lower than I was used to, exposing more rocks, and beaches where there previously were not. This helped me to look closer at the rocks — primarily lava rocks from ancient volcanic activity
The water provides sustenance and a home to many different creatures. Frogs and toads and a variety of insects make their homes in the water. Deer, chipmunks, squirrels all drink from the water (as do elk, bears, and cougars, but I have never seen those!) And there’s a lot of birds that visit the area!
There’s a lot of scientific research being done about the lake — while I was looking around the internet a bit I came across a few interesting articles that go even farther into the science behind the lake.