Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Mt. Tremont "Lake", "Pond", or "Pool"?

  1. #1
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    1,976

    Mt. Tremont "Lake", "Pond", or "Pool"?

    Does anyone have any insight about the little body of water situated in the col between Bartlett Haystack and Mt. Tremont (see map below)?


    This little speck of water recently caught my attention, and so I did a bushwhack off the Mt. Tremont Trail to check it out. By taking measurements from a topo map, I had roughly calculated that this little watery spot in the woods to be about 150 ft by 80 ft. Those dimensions seemed to be pretty much consistent with what I saw when I arrived at this body of water. Admittedly, I didn't do any actual measurements, but just merely "eye-balled it".

    The best I can tell, there are no size-standards regarding what constitutes a pond or a lake. However, I think using the word "lake" for this little body of water would be a "stretch". But, on the other hand, there is a body of water in the saddle between Mts. Madison & Adams that is nearly the same size as this little guy. And guess what . . . it's called Star LAKE!

    But, for this particular body of water, perhaps the word "pool" might be the most appropriate term. I've shared the photos posted below with David Govatski (USFS, retired). Based purely upon what he could see in the photos, he feels that this might be what is technically known as an ephemeral pool. These depressions typically only contain water during periods of snow melt, or during rainy periods, etc.

    This is pure speculation on my part, but I'd think that most ephemeral pools are too small to be shown as a body of water on a topo map. Perhaps at best, they might be depicted merely as a swampy area. But given the size of this pool, maybe it retains some water throughout most of the year. If so, then it might show up on satellite imagery as a permanent body of water, and thus be depicted as a small pond on the current-day topographic maps.

    I've looked at some of the historic topo maps that are available online and I didn't find this body of water. I suppose this could mean either that it didn't exist when the maps were made, or simply that no one knew it was there!

    Anyway, below are two snapshots. The first photo was taken from the western end of the pond/pool. The second photo was taken from the eastern end looking toward Mt. Tremont which can be seen sort of silhouetted through the trees.




    Speaking of Mt. Tremont, I extended my bushwhack to include a small ledge that's just about a tenth of a mile west of what I've nicknamed as "Tremont Pond". From this ledge, I got a somewhat unique close-up view of Mt. Tremont (see photo below).


    1HappyHiker
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 11-11-2010 at 09:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dover,NH
    Posts
    1,094
    I recall a discussion years ago, probably here, where it came out that the official distinction between "lake" and "pond" is that a "lake" is too deep for plant growth at its deepest point--insufficient light gets through. As you note, I'm not sure that's been consistently applied in the Whites! (Although I understand Eagle Lakes used to be less swampy.)

    Haven't winters in the Whites been drier in the last five years or so than in the 90s? Its possible this used to be a more substantial body. Your guesses sound reasonable...if it shows up on aerial imagery, USGS probably isn't going to bushwhack in. "Pool" sounds right to me.

  3. #3
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,739
    It's a "lake" if you're selling and a "pond" if you're buying

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Xanadu
    Posts
    1,959
    Looks like a helluva campsite.

  5. #5
    Senior Member audrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    MA. Avatar: Pat,Audrey,& Leo on N Moat
    Posts
    1,933
    Does it have an outlet? Or an inlet brook? It does look like a seasonal pool. Hmm, how about "Silver Spring Wet Spot?"

    John, you've done all the work, the honor of naming goes to you!

  6. #6
    Senior Member REK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Deerfield, NH
    Posts
    154
    What a great post! That's just the kind of nutty thing that I think is cool. My TOPO! program shows what I assume to be an old skidder road just beyond the upper crossing of Douglas Br. and heading into that pass from the south from Bear Notch Rd. Did you see any evidence of that?

    Bartlett Haystack is on a To Do list for me and this has moved it up a few notches. I also agree that you get to call it whatever you want. Tremont Pond works just fine for me. Or you could give it a somewhat obscure Native American name with a questionable pronunciation so future generations can argue about the proper way to say it
    Bob

  7. #7
    Senior Member Papa Bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    1,920
    Here's a thought:

    The Unnamed Lake
    - Frederick George Scott (1861-1944)

    It sleeps among the thousand hills
    Where no man ever trod,
    And only nature's music fills
    The silences of God.

    Great mountains tower above its shore,
    Green rushes fringe its brim,
    And o're its breast for evermore
    The wanton breezes skim.

    Dark clouds that intercept the sun
    Go there in Spring to weep,
    And there, when Autumn days are done,
    White mists lie down to sleep.

    Sunrise and sunset crown with gold
    The peaks of ageless stone,
    Where winds have thundered from of old
    And storms have set their throne.

    No echoes of the world afar
    Disturb it night or day,
    The sun and shadow, moon and star
    Pass and repass for aye.

    'Twas in the grey of early dawn,
    When first the lake we spied,
    And fragments of a cloud were drawn
    Half down the mountain side.

    Along the shore a heron flew,
    And from a speck on high,
    That hovered in the deepening blue,
    We heard the fish-hawk's cry.

    Among the cloud-capt solitudes,
    No sound the silence broke,
    Save when, in whispers down the woods,
    The guardian mountains spoke.

    Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
    Returning whence we came,
    We passed in silence, and the lake
    We left without a name.
    Last edited by Papa Bear; 11-12-2010 at 06:25 PM.
    Pb

    Papa Bear's Web Site
    Papa Bear's Hundred Highest List
    Peakbagger NE HH Peaks Map
    Papa Bear's Fifty Finest List
    Peakbagger NE FF Peaks Map
    Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. - Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    1,976
    Apologies for the delayed response to the replies to this thread . . . got tied up with other stuff, plus been out hiking!

    Jon; Tim; Dug; Audrey: Thanks guys for your comments, and for taking time to post a reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by REK View Post
    What a great post! That's just the kind of nutty thing that I think is cool. My TOPO! program shows what I assume to be an old skidder road just beyond the upper crossing of Douglas Br. and heading into that pass from the south from Bear Notch Rd. Did you see any evidence of that?
    Bob . . . first of all, it's great to hear that at least one other person likes "nutty things" such as this! To each their own, but I must admit that I do find it fun & fascinating to visit seldom-visited places in the forest!

    Anyway, to answer your question, I'm unsure exactly what it might have been, but I did see some faint evidence of what could've been an extension of the road that I think you're talking about. Take a look at the map below. Is the road that I labeled as "Logging Road" the same road that you're referring to?
    Regardless, there was some faint trace of something that came up from the south of the col and proceeded down the other side on the northside of the col.


    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Bear View Post
    Here's a thought:

    The Unnamed Lake
    - Frederick George Scott (1861-1944)
    Papa Bear . . . Thank you for posting that very fitting poem. Especially poignant and appropriate is the last verse which you bolded:

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Bear View Post
    Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
    Returning whence we came,
    We passed in silence, and the lake
    We left without a name.
    I think it's indeed appropriate to leave this remote place "without a name"!

  9. #9
    Senior Member REK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Deerfield, NH
    Posts
    154
    Yes That's the same road. Thanks
    Bob

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Thornton, NH
    Posts
    2,232

    Lake vs pond

    Here is a nicely worded statement with some examples, but no mention of pool.

    http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/doclake/lkepond.htm

  11. #11
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    1,976
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dasypodidae View Post
    Here is a nicely worded statement with some examples, but no mention of pool.
    http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/doclake/lkepond.htm
    Thanks Thom for posting that reference. Yeah, I don't know what to think. As stated in the reference you posted, "there is no exact technical distinction between lakes and ponds".

    And, then when it comes to ephemeral pools, the distinction is equally fuzzy. As is stated at the end of the article that I've linked below, definitions vary from State to State.

    http://www.uri.edu/cels/nrs/paton/whatisavp.html

    The definition issue about what constitutes a lake/pond/pool is definitely interesting. But, what I find even more intriguing is what criteria a cartographer uses to determine what to show as a body of water on a topographic map. Not being a limnologist, I have no idea if the "Tremont Pond" that I visited is an ephemeral/seasonal pool. But if it is, then it's unclear to me why it would be shown as a body of water. You'd think that depiction of bodies of water on topographic maps would be reserved only for PERMANENT lakes & ponds.

    Ah well . . . who is it that said: "All that is certain is that nothing is certain."?

  12. #12
    Senior Member grouseking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Lebanon, NH Avatar: Philosopher?
    Posts
    2,023
    This is fun stuff for me, cause I majored in geography

    I find that...it depends on where you live in the US when people are naming lakes or ponds. I used to think it had to do with size and depth of the body of water. But when you look at some of the names of the bodies of water in NH...there are many "lakes" that many would think of as ponds at best....Dream Lake, Lonesome Lake, Star Lake, just to name a few. So, I think it is a cultural thing. Lake Winne is the largest lake we have in NH, while in places like Texas, they may call that a pond. So it depends on where you live....if that made any sense.

    As for the pool up near Tremont, refer to this
    http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wild...ool_manual.pdf

    If it doesn't have an outlet, it might be defined as a vernal pool. But the question is, does it dry up during the summertime? I see that there is a little "bump" in elevation above the pool and a flat area so it would be a perfect place for water to hang out for extended periods of time. My best guess is that it could be known as "Astatic Waters" which is a body of water that doesn't completely dry up from year to year, but will fluctuate depending on the season. See page 4, at the bottom for a great description.

    I'm gonna continue to read the vernal pool paper, its interesting so far!

  13. #13
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    1,976
    Quote Originally Posted by grouseking View Post
    As for the pool up near Tremont, refer to this
    http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wild...ool_manual.pdf
    Phil . . . hey, I think you might have nailed it! Of course someone would have to do a study and do some careful recordkeeping to prove that this little pond/pool is an "astatic" body of water. But, assuming for the moment that it is, then that would answer my question as to why it shows up on a topographic map. According to the definition on page 4 of the document you linked, these particular bodies of water "do not dry up completely each year, but rather fluctuate dramatically in size from large, seasonally flooded basins to small permanent pools."

    So, if there is some element of permanence to this pond/pool, then it would seem logical for a cartographer to include it on a topographic map. It just wasn't making sense to me for this body of water to be included on a topo map if it was something like a temporary/ephemeral pool.

    Thanks for posting this info . . . very useful & interesting!
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 11-17-2010 at 04:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Thornton, NH
    Posts
    2,232
    There is very little ground truthing of USGS topo maps, so whatever appears to be water on the air photos when flown typically end up as water bodies on topo maps. Ditto in Arctic Canada, where I have searched for ponds that were mistakenly mapped as water bodies from late-lying snowbanks on the air photos. Of course, that will be not as much of a problem in the future if air photos are ever flown again, as most of the snowbanks and small ice caps present in the 1960s are gone now.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cushetunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    451
    That sure looks like a vernal pool to me.

    Or rather, ecologically it sure looks like it functions most like a vernal pool -- no fish, periods without water, probably supports characteristic "vernal pool" species, etc.

    Nature doesn't create water bodies in discrete categories. Scientists create categories so that there is a handy way to speak about things.


    Edit: Clearly you should be carrying this with you in the field!

    http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/Nongame/RAARP/Vernal_pool_manual.pdf
    Last edited by cushetunk; 11-17-2010 at 06:30 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Time to move "Exposure" back to "General Backcountry"
    By Mohamed Ellozy in forum Site Help
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-30-2014, 10:30 AM
  2. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-23-2010, 06:33 AM
  3. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-03-2009, 08:41 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-29-2009, 06:55 PM
  5. Black Diamond "Whippet" or Life Link "Claw" users
    By Jkrew81 in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-05-2006, 07:21 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •