The 7-acre, 3-foot deep Day Mill Pond lies west of the west end of Little Glen Lake and is easily observed from M109 highway. Hydrologically, it is connected most of the time by a 3-foot diameter culvert and a small, slow-flowing creek that empties into Little Glen. Beaver have been known to plug up the culvert in an attempt to flood the pond and raise the water level.
During the summer, the entire surface of the pond is choked off by the ever increasing number of pond lilies that have expanded over the past decade. Also, the shoreline is surrounded by an ever expanding population of cattails, which can be thought of as shoreline building plants. In time, the progressive growth of the cattails toward the center of the pond—building land behind them—will be complete and the pond will become a cattail swamp. Maybe in the next 40 to 50 years, if nature has her way, this pond will cease to exist!
Historically, the pond was better connected to Little Glen prior to the building of M109. The national park has in its long-range plans to replace the culvert with a box culvert and bridge that would go under the highway. An environmental assessment has been completed and the timetable for construction has yet to be set. Public hearings and financial backing would need to happen before any construction.
Because the pond is surrounded by National Park Service boundaries, there are no riparians on the pond and it is a haven for spring and fall migrants. Ring-necked Duck, Wood Duck, Ruddy Duck, scaup, mallards, geese, swans, grebes, American Coot, Green Herons, Sandhill Cranes, and even a common egret can be observed. The pond is also the home of the less common Blandings turtle. In the spring, there are lots of migrating song birds— mostly warblers of all kinds that make this a special place in our watershed. Muskrats, raccoon, deer, mink, and beaver can be seen during the non-winter months.
Now you can visit area lakes and ponds with a greater appreciation for their character and at the same time, be rewarded for what nature may have in store for your viewing pleasure.
Coltsfoot, (Tussilago farfara) above, is the first invasive to watch out for around Glen Lake. When you see our native Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) blooming, it’s time to scrutinize your property for coltsfoot. The bloom period of these two plants typically coincides.
The Glen Lake Association needs help finding this invasive springtime plant.
Spot Coltsfoot by looking for yellow flowers, seen below, that emerge before the leaves and open on sunny days. The flowers are similar in appearance and size to a dandelion’s, but with the addition of leafy bracts along the stem. Later in the season, after the flowers have matured, Coltsfoot can be identified by thick, fleshy, heart-shaped leaves, up to eight inches long and wide.
Coltsfoot first invades sunny, low-lying wet areas, but is very adaptable and if left uncontrolled can spread into bright, high and dry zones quickly. It can also grow, bloom and spread in shade, though with less vigor. If left uncontrolled, Coltsfoot has the potential to completely blanket a sunny spot, decreasing biodiversity along with your property value. It threatens to invade the same habitat of our precious endangered species, the Michigan Monkey flower. If it escapes the shores of Glen Lake, Coltsfoot threatens our surrounding agricultural communities. It has proven to be an agricultural pest in the US Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest as well as in southern Canadian farmland.
Throughout the coming season GLA will offer timely tips on various invasive plants to watch for on your property. When you are away or are unable to personally survey your property, perhaps a neighbor or friend could help out in your absence. Informed gardeners or property managers could also perform surveys.
Marsh Marigold typically blooms at the same time as Coltsfoot.
As a service of the GLA, your shoreline will be surveyed for Coltsfoot if it is in the region known or suspected to be infested around Big Glen. However, we welcome your assistance in surveying any property around both Big and Little Glen Lakes. The more eyes, the better!
The shorelines of Glen Lake are by nature’s design, an ever-changing phenomenon. Wind and waves during periodic storm events can peel away or build up shorelines into irregular and unpredictable patterns. This natural process can be troubling for riparians who desire to “keep it as it always was.” The GLA embraces the notion that natural shorelines are the best way to preserve water quality.
The results of our 2019 shoreline survey indicate that of the 17 miles of shoreline around Big and Little Glen, 1.8 miles of shoreline have rock walls, making up 10.4% of the total. Our survey shows that 94 riparians have chosen to harden their shoreline to prevent erosion. There seems to be a growing number of riparians who are choosing rock walls.
Artificial rock shorelines can often be the last resort for riparians to control erosion. However, other alternatives can and should be considered, some which are more “lake-friendly.”
The use of coir logs is considered a great alternative to installing rock walls. Before making plans to install a rock wall, consider coir log installations as another good solution to battle erosion. The practice is relatively new to Glen Lake riparians and only a select few contractors have the experience to perform a successful installation. Coir log installations may not be for everyone but they are well worth the time to consider.
For more information about shoreline erosion control, click here.
We welcome your questions and interest if you are thinking of solutions to shoreline erosion. Contact us at 231-334-7645 or by email to email@example.com.