Down by the River Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve, Southfield, Michigan Photography | Tom Libertiny

Off Planet | Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve

Sometimes inspiration is literally down the road.

Jupiter’s Oil Slick

There’s a small nature preserve next to a busy road that we’ve driven

Jupiter's Oil Slick Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve Photography | Tom Libertiny

Jupiter’s Oil Slick
Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve
Photography | Tom Libertiny

on thousands of times.  One sunny afternoon we seemed very far from the reality of the city.

Within the preserve sits a hidden dam that creates Carpenter Lake in Southfield, Michigan.  It’s about 20 feet in height and was designed to create the lake for fishing and regulate the flow of water going into the Rouge River.  Not far from the base of the dam is a natural dam created by a large tree that’s fallen across the stream.  An oil slick bunches up at the upriver side of the fallen tree creating the same types of turbulence and eddy patterns seen on the planet Jupiter.

Down by the River
Down by the River Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve, Southfield, Michigan Photography | Tom Libertiny

Down by the River
Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve, Southfield, Michigan
Photography | Tom Libertiny

In my homeland of Florida, the Everglades and Alligator Alley weren’t too far away from where I grew up.  That area with its myriad of rivers was renown for all sorts of mysterious happenings.  Bright lights beaming through the swampy night seemingly out of nowhere.  Haunted stories of people, animals, and things simply disappearing.

Fourteen hundred miles north:  Michigan has its own version.  Hopefully sans the alligators.

And in the spirit of all things swampy, here’s a rare live recording of When the Levee Breaks by Jackie Blue.

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