T H E G R E E N L A K E P A D D L E R
AND THE LAKE THAT DOESN'T EXIST
Got to make a confession: Greenlake doesn't exist, I've made it up.
To be more precise, here we have this lake but is has a different name. Today it's called
Lake " Marken " or in Dutch " Markermeer " back in time this body of water was part
of the sea and eroding away the inner north part of the country. " Southern Sea "
it was called in those days or " Zuiderzee " in Dutch. In the 1930's a dike was
constructed to close the sea out of this destructive process and the area
diked off renamed " IJsselmeer ". The name IJssel comes from the
river IJssel flowing into this lake, " meer " means lake. New land
was reclaimed and the Netherlands grew larger in surface
area. In the 70's a second dike was made with the idea
to reclaim yet more land. Up to this day that never
happened and the lower part of Lake IJsselmeer
was given the new name of " Markermeer "
coming from the former Island of Marken.
The Netherlands surrounded by its neighbouring countries.
Lake Marken or Markermeer aka '' GreenLake " and as you can see, even from
outer space it is recognisable as being green. So it seems to exist after all.
Early Spring, looking east at 10 in the morning. The twinkle on the water entering my eyes
flushes the brain from excess information. I can feel the sun on the inside of my hands.
For me Markermeer is an ok name to write on a chart or map, but looking at
how the lake presents itself, like a large greenish expand of water
" Green Lake" seemed a more appropriate name to me.
So I dicided to call it Greenlake, see what I mean ...
On a sunny day the really shallow parts can glow in a strong green.
The bottom of this part of the lake is covered in yellow sand,
broken shells actually from the days the lake was still
saltwater and part of the sea ( pre 1930's )
Touchdown to take a rest and have a drink.
Over time the lake changed into a body of freshwater and is now frequented
by large groups of water birds like Swans, Geese, Cormorants, different
sort of Ducks, Herons, Spoonbills and many more flying animals.
Depth on average is about 4 meters in Lake Marken.
As the surface is so near to the bottom, sediment mixes in the watercolumn
when a storm lashes over the lake. The translucent green becomes a gray.
On a calm evening.
Unlike this impression, the lake can be quite choppy in a short period
style of waves. Nasty for some type of boats to sail on. Wave height
in a reasonable wind can vary from 60cm up to 1,5 meters.
Locks and gates are used to control water levels in the two lakes.
As the upper " Lake IJsselmeer " is being fed by the IJssel river, ( which in turn
is Rhine river water ) but closed off from the sea to spill in naturally,
gates and locks are used to control water height level .
So boats entering or leaving have to be "locked " as well.
All shipping has to navigate these locks just as all fish had to, but recently
insight has changed and special fish passing gates where constructed
to make it easier for these animals to come and go as they please.
This is an important thing for the Dutch Eel as it travels from the
lake back to the Sargasso sea to spawn where it was born first.
Life cycle of the Eel. Source Wikipedia.
NEL rev 2021
A A R D V A N H O L L A N D . C O M