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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

People of the Lake

Mount Konocti and ridges northeast of the lake as seen from from the ranch.

The sacred mountain by the sacred lake with coots and mallards as seen from Lakeport. The Lakeport mallards are, in some cases, hybrids with domestic pekin ducks. But nobody interbreeds with a coot.

The beds of tule reeds that form the margin between Clear Lake and Big Valley are the nursery zone for fish and birds including Western Grebes. Vastly reduced in acreage, this critical habitat sustains the Clear Lake sports fishery. It is easily
compromised by the rollicking wakes of speed boats, which swamp grebe nests. Flashy and strident, yellow-headed black birds also breed here. They are more commonly associated with such Southerly areas as Lake Chapala in Mexico and with inland marshes.

The Lake Pomo people had an intimate connection with the tules, using them to make, among other essentials, their shelters, clothing, and canoes.