It’s summer, people and pets are burning up.  We are all looking for relief from the dog days of summer. A popular summertime cooldown activity is swimming in a pool, pond or lake. If I was going to swim, it would only be in a pool that is properly treated, but that is just me. Plenty of folks will jump in just about anything that holds water so let's focus on those "super clean" ponds and lakes.

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I live in an area where we have free use of a lake for fishing, boating, or swimming.  I have fished in the lake and would definitely take a boat out, but swim there? Hell no. I can’t bear the thought of not seeing the bottom of the lake knowing what lurks there. Well, I do kind of know what lurks there…I’ve seen rusted fishing hooks, sharp thick branches, and some slimy nasty looking stuff that I would rather not be involved with.  Visions of The Raft from Creepshow 2 pop into my head thanks to my girl being a big fan of the Crypt Keeper and having mentioned it to me on numerous occasions.

MadBox TV/YouTube
MadBox TV/YouTube
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I recently read a post on Next Door from someone who urged residents of New Fairfield to...

Use Ball Pond Safely! Friends of Ball Pond and Ball Pond Advisory Committee encourage us all to learn to recognize potentially harmful algae blooms. Algae blooms look like a bright green or turquoise skim on the surface of the water, like paint floating on the surface, or the water may resemble "pea soup." Do not swim or allow children or dogs into the water in the area of a bloom. Blooms are usually small and localized. They are not always dangerous but they can be, so do not take any chances. You can still be in the lake, but stay away from algae blooms.

NOAA.gov
NOAA.gov
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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) backs this person's claim up on their site and confirms that algal blooms can be toxic and urge the public to keep people and pets away from water that is green, scummy, or smells bad.  They also note that harmful algal blooms vary in color and can be green, blue, red, or brown. They can be scummy or look like paint on the surface of the water. The EPA provides further information on what algal blooms are, what their effects are, what causes them, and what you can do to help.

usgs.gov
usgs.gov
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Here are some photos of what these algae blooms look like, please remember they vary in color and texture and can be bad news, so when in doubt keep away, or I don't know, swim in a nice chlorinated clear pool instead.

Liz Harrell on Unsplash
Liz Harrell on Unsplash
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NOAA.gov
NOAA.gov
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I saw a bright, yellow plant blooming underneath one of the trees here at the radio station in Brookfield. My plant identifier app didn't really help, so, I'm asking the botanists of Brookfield for your help. What the hell is this?