|Odocoileus virginianus - white-tailed deer|
People who visit at the lake will frequently ask me about this:
|Shoreline of the lake|
But there is a connection between the deer, and this straight line.
The lake's shore primarily composed of Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar), which is one the local Odocoileus virginianus population's primary winter food sources. In the winter the lake freezes, and the deer go out on the ice and have a chomp. So this straight line actually shows the reach limit of the deer for browsing.
In ecology terms, this is called a browse line. Overbrowsing certainly seems to be an issue at the lake; the forest understory is in many places quite bare, and there are virtually no new cedar, maple, or oaks growing in recent years because when they reach intermediate height (tall enough to poke over the snow in winter, not tall enough to exceed the reach of deer), they are browsed to death and that's that. This is a documented problem in many places which have overpopulations of Odocoileus virginianus.
It was just gorgeous at the lake last week, so I will sign off with a picture:
|Island on the lake|