If we may say that the civilized man is clever but not wise, we may say, also, that the prairie is dry but not without water. Upon the prairie there are occasional rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and flooded buffalo wallows. Like the American System itself, most of the prairie ponds and lakes are fly-by-night operations. Although they may thrive temporarily, supporting a teeming food chain that can run from aquatic plants to muskrats to owls; from nymphal insects to sunfish to snapping turtles; or from salamanders to magpies to weasels, in time the ponds and lakes are invaded by vegetation filled with silt and reduced during summer droughts until they gasp (!) and die, changing into marsh and then prairie again. Often a prairie pond is not around long enough to earn a name.
Siwash Lake, since it found a home in a relatively deep depression between the hills of the terminal moraines left by the continental ice sheet, has enjoyed a certain permanence, although as evidenced by its imploding margins of arrowhead, cattail and reed, it, too, is entering the swamp phase of its existence and eventually will be unable to provide enough moisture to freshen a tadpole’s highball.
There are a few good years left on the little lake yet, however, and it was shimmering a blob of invisible ink when Sissy and Jelly caught sight of it from the hill behind the cinematographer’s blind. Sissy and Jelly walked over the crest of the hill, having tied their horses at the cherry tree, and there was the lake, taking. Knee-deep in wheatgrass and asters, Sissy and Jelly walked over the crest of the hill naked, having left their clothing at the cherry tree, and the lake was below them, shimmering. Sissy and Jelly walked over the crest …
Author: High Times / High Times