Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle is Western Australia's largest and Australia's second largest freshwater man-made reservoir by volume. The reservoir is part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme and is located near the East Kimberley town of Kununurra; the lake flooded large parts of the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley on the Kimberley Plateau about 80 kilometres inland from the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, close to the border with the Northern Territory. The primary inflow is the Ord River, while the Bow River and many other smaller creeks flow into the dam; the lake is a DIWA-listed wetland. as it is the largest lake in northern Australia and an excellent example of a man-made lake. Additionally Lake Argyle, along with Lake Kununurra, are recognised as a Ramsar protected wetlands and were listed in 1990 as Australian Site Number 32; the traditional owners are the Miriwoong Gajerrong peoples who have inhabited the area for thousands of years and knew the Ord river as Goonoonoorrang. The dams were built with no consultation with or compensation to the Indigenous traditional owners.

The construction of the Ord River Dam was completed in 1971 by the American Dravo Corporation. The dam was opened the following year; the dam wall is 335 metres long, 98 metres high. The earth-fill only dam wall at Lake Argyle is the most efficient dam in Australia in terms of the ratio of the size of the dam wall to the amount of water stored; the lake was named after the property it submerged, Argyle Downs. Ord River Dam post office opened on 1 March 1969 and closed on 15 November 1971 demonstrating the approximate duration of the construction camp. In 1996, the spillway wall was raised by 6 metres. Sediment flowing into the dam caused concerns in the mid-1990s that the dam's capacity could be reduced. By 2006 continual regeneration of the upper Ord catchment appeared to have reduced the amount of sediment inflow. Lake Argyle has a surface area of about 1,000 square kilometres; the storage capacity, to the top of the spillway is 10,763 gigalitres. The lake filled to capacity in 1973, the spillway flowed until 1984.

Lake Argyle's usual storage volume is 5,797 gigalitres, making it the largest reservoir in Australia. The combined Lake Gordon/Lake Pedder system in Tasmania is larger but is two dams connected by a canal. At maximum flood level, Lake Argyle would hold 35,000 gigalitres of water and cover a surface area of 2,072 square kilometres. Higher areas have become permanent islands within the lake's area. Lake Argyle, together with Lake Kununurra, is part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme. There are some 150 square kilometres of farmland under irrigation in the East Kimberly region; the original plan was for dam water to irrigate rice crop for export to China. However these plans were scuttled as waterfowl magpie geese ate rice shoots quicker than they could be planted. Other crops are now grown; the damming of the Ord River has caused major changes to the environment. Flows to the Ord River have been reduced. Within Lake Argyle itself a thriving new eco-system has developed; the lake is recognised as an important wetland area under the Ramsar Convention.

The lake is now home to 26 species of native fish and a population of freshwater crocodiles estimated at some 25,000. Fish species that are present in Lake Argyle include barramundi, southern saratoga, archer fish, forktail cat fish, mouth almighty, long tom, bony bream and sleepy cod. While the official website states that only incidentally a saltwater crocodile is found, other experts disagree. Cane toads reached the dam in late 2008 via traveling along the Victoria Highway, with numbers rising during the 2009 summer; the lake, with its surrounding mudflats and grasslands, has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because it supports about 150,000 waterbirds with twelve species being represented in large enough numbers to be considered internationally significant. The mud flats and grasslands are the natural habitat of eight wader species represented in internationally significant numbers, along with a healthy population of Australian bustards which are considered a "near threatened" species.

Birds for which the lake has global importance include magpie geese, wandering whistling-ducks, green pygmy-geese, Pacific black ducks, black-necked storks, white-headed stilts, red-capped plovers, Oriental plovers, black-fronted dotterels, long-toed stints and sharp-tailed sandpipers. Common larger-bodied bird species found at the lake include the Australian pelican, black swan, eastern great egret, royal spoonbill and wedge-tailed eagle. Common smaller-bodied bird species include the spinifex pigeon, peaceful dove, common sandpiper, white-winged tern and budgerigar, while mid-sized bird species include the red-winged parrot, blue-winged kookaburra and barking owl; some threats identified by the IBA include invasive weed and animal species, such as the cane toad, as well as agricultural uses, free range cattle and feral ungulates that may be over-grazing in the shallow areas around the lake. The IBA recommends that a fence be installed in the important shallows in the south and east to prevent all ungulates from entering those lake areas.

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The Mount (novel)

The Mount is a 2002 science fantasy novel by Carol Emshwiller. It won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2002, was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2003; the author was inspired to write The Mount. After the class, Emshwiller wondered; the idea fascinated her enough to write a short story. The first-person narrator, Charley, is a young man who, like all humans, is used as a riding mount for an alien race known as Hoots. Humans in Charley's world, a pastoral Earth, have existed in a master-slave relationship with the Hoots for centuries; the Hoots, who have no way to return to their home planet, maintain the natural systems that keep the world running. Escaped mounts like Charley's father the Guards' Mount known as Heron, lead assaults on the stables where humans are kept and seek to unify their own people against the Hoots; when Charley meets his father for the first time, he resists betraying either his Master, the Hoot heir apparent, or anything that might help the resisting humans because his life as a mount is the only one he's known.

The Hoots are a race. They are herbivores who have developed a set of keen senses which allowed them to tame and use predators as mounts; the need for mounts is due to the fact that Hoots have weak leg muscles, which prevents them from moving about efficiently. Most Hoots have never developed their leg muscles and use either mounts or small bicycle devices to move about. Hoots have large and strong hands which were evolved for strangling predators, they have large eyes and large ears. The ears are used as a way of expressing emotions. For example, when a Hoot laughs, their ears flap down. Peter Cannon praised the novel in his review for the magazine Publishers Weekly, saying that it was "Brilliantly conceived and painfully acute in its delineation of the complex relationships between masters and slaves and owners, the served and the serving, this poetic and above all humane novel deserves to be read and cherished as a fundamental fable for our material-minded times." Kirkus Reviews said that "with patience and enormous affection for her four-legged characters, Emshwiller has fashioned an affecting, plausible story that manages to sidestep a heavy-handed symbolism.

A deceptively simple, clear-eyed story that should find its sympathetic Gullivers." Michael Hemmingson reviewing for Review of Contemporary Fiction said "it took me about thirty pages to figure out, narrating the narrative--my one complaint--but the title should have given it away sooner. While a quirky novel, it is easy to fall into the rhythm of Emshwiller's poetic and smooth sentences and run with the flow."

German Township, Marshall County, Indiana

German Township is one of ten townships in Marshall County, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 8,902 and it contained 3,433 housing units. German Township was organized in 1838, named for the fact the township was settled chiefly by Germans. According to the 2010 census, the township has a total area of 62.1 square miles, of which 61.48 square miles is land and 0.62 square miles is water. Bremen US 6 SR 106 SR 331 Bremen Public SchoolsGerman Township residents may obtain a free library card from the Bremen Public Library in Bremen. Indiana's 2nd congressional district State House District 23 State Senate District 9 "German Township, Marshall County, Indiana". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-09-29. United States Census Bureau 2008 TIGER/Line Shapefiles IndianaMap Indiana Township Association United Township Association of Indiana page for German Township