America has more than 130,000 lakes of significant size. Ninety percent of all Americans live within fifty miles of a lake, and our 1.8 billion trips to watery places make them our top vacation choice. Yet despite this striking popularity, more than 45 percent of surveyed lakes and 80 percent of urban lakes do not meet water quality standards. For Love of Lakes weaves a delightful tapestry of history, science, emotion, and poetry for all who love lakes or enjoy nature writing. For Love of Lakes is an affectionate account documenting our species’ long relationship with lakes—their glacial origins, Thoreau and his environmental message, and the major perceptual shifts and advances in our understanding of lake ecology. This is a necessary and thoughtful book that addresses the stewardship void while providing improved understanding of our most treasured natural feature.
Nelson weaves an interesting and thought-provoking story based on his love of lakes and the outdoor world. The text blends his power of observation, personal scientific knowledge and an appreciation of important contributions to the field of limnology. His “story-teller” approach provokes readers to consider their particular “dream” lakes and what they might do to protect them for future generations.—Steven Heiskary, Research Scientist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Past President 2005, North American Lake Management Society
Darby gracefully describes the beauty and ecology of lakes through rich personal and natural histories. This book engagingly challenges us to consider both our relationship with nature and how our choices affect its future.—Jonathan Higgins, Senior Aquatic Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
Nelson’s interplay of emotion and logic stimulates the reader to think, and that is a good thing. For Love of Lakes is poetic to the end—a wonderful read for all who enjoy natural history.—John J. Magnuson, Professor Emeritus of Zoology and Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
For those of us who live in lake country, nothing is as fine as the mist rising in the early morning, or the pickerelweed in the midday sun, or the beaver slapping at dusk. Darby Nelson captures this glory; more, he tells us how we might preserve it against the myriad abuses now plaguing our freshwater oases.—Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet