Wednesday, February 27, 2002

the FINGER LAKES

on my way to the 7 am cafe today, on the bus, i was rumminating about the finger lakes region of new York state, where i grew up and have often lived.

theSeneca/cayuga Indians called the finger lakes...."where the great White Spirit placed his hand down upon the earth, the fingerprints filled with water"

i lived between two of these lakes, each lake, Cayuga and Seneca, is about 500 feet deep and each lake is about 60 miles long. the deepest spot might actually be 600 feet.

i pondered the years and the summers at my summer cottage. there were often heavy summer storms that sent flood waters cascading down the creeks from the fields the water filled with the mud from the fields.
I once read that they had found that under the 500 foot bottom there was yet more mud....down until the real bedrock 500 more feet of mud, in fact. the glaciers made these lakes 100,000 years ago by scaping
the rock, the Melt was about 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. thick forest covered the land until white man cleared, then there was no more protection from the rains and now the creeks are more muddy!
then it hit me...if the rains deposited an inch of sedement per year, in the very bottom of the deepest lake...just how long would it take before the sedement mud filled the lake?!
not very long!
in about 3000 to 5000 years, the six to ten finger lakes will be no more! all filled up!

this gave to me a Moment of Understanding how EVERYTHING is ephemeral!!
even the very rocky mountains will soon be ground down to hills! 5000 years is but a second in the march of geological time. thus these grand lakes are but a phonominium, a blip of an event, soon gone.

I would imagine that some early indian settler upon that great lake Bonnerville, in the american west...that shrunk WAY down to Salt lake, in Utah...why he would have thought that this lake was there forever and WILL be there forever, as this lake was there all of the glacier period of ???30,000 to 100,000 years!
he arrived just at the end of it, crossing from Asia, after the melt...perhaps the lake would have "only" been there for another 500 years before it began to shrink!

yes, just as your childhood home is replaced in a month by a shoppinf center, a flat rich-soil plain will replace Cayuga lake!