Canyon Lake, California, USA, 2017
An overview of the lake in 2001, which shows the area as a fairly new, primarily retirement community.
Canyon Lake, California, USA, 2017
An overview of the lake from a different vantage point, 2017, where development has increased the number of people, homes, and docks in the area. Shown after 2017 winter torrential rains.
Canyon Lake, California, USA

The audio highlighted the changes to the region, which were primarily a result of popularity and increased human population. The city became a bigger hotspot for young people wanting to get into watersports, which changed the average age and property value of living in the city. With that, changes like more people and infrastructure resulted. However, some of the main strains remained the same, such as the local small wildlife.

Observer: Donna Kelley
Interviewer: Cody Hankins
Interview Date: December 21, 2017
Submission Date: December 21, 2017
About This Place

Historic Appearance

The place was more arid, and there were far less people. There was a much older demographic, because it was primarily a retirement community. Because of this, developments on the water and on the land were much less. It was much more desert looking, but there were a few different periods of a lot of rain and a little rain over the last couple of decades. There were few fish in the lake (because it was manmade) and had to be stocked often.

Changes over Time

The lake has gone through a bunch of cycles of drying out and filling, depending on the year. The drought that had hit pretty hard was finally gone this year, and has dramatic results in the lake (you can see the lighthouse is partially submerged). The place has changed and become much younger. There is definitely reflected in a few areas: community centers have become wilder, the lake is less for fishing and more for water sports, and larger amounts of people are present. There is also a demand for more luxurious landscaping, which has resulted in a vast enlarging of a golf course, more construction, and more homes. The speaker has also noticed that there might be a much wider range of plants that exist in the area, because a demand for manicured landscape comes with some interesting new additions.

Historic & Current Activities

The observer used to participate in some water sports, and some civic activities related to the city after it was incorporated. Her husband fishes often.

The observer now sticks to more sorts of walking and very light hiking in the surrounding area. The pictures show the sort of hilly area, which can become more challenging for an older population. Her husband is still an avid fisherman.

Conversation Transcript

Interviewer: So, Donna, thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions about where you’ve lived the last couple of decades and sort of the things that you’ve seen just change or evolve throughout this time period, both from your perspective, what you do. And also, the landscape, just the flora, the fauna, the general vibe. So, I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on all those topics and, yeah, just share some stuff with me. It will be amazing.

Donna: Well, over the last 20 years or so, this city’s gotten a lot bigger. There’s been a lot of growth, more infrastructure. One thing that I’ve really noticed is as more people are moving here and the town has gotten more appealing to tourists, there’s a lot of extra landscaping, irrigation. You’ll see a lot more green kind of in the photos that I gave you. People are putting a lot more work into making the town look nice. Additionally, there’s been kind of a rise of water sports. A lot more people around. You’ll see more docks on the lake because people are, you know, water skiing more. Also, you can see in this picture, the water levels are higher because of, particularly, rainy season. You can see that that lighthouse is a little bit more submerged though the drought actually did affect rainfall, so it was a little unusual to see the water level that high so recently. The weather is usually pretty constant, but there are dramatic temperature swings from season to season since it is in a valley. You know, we’ve also seen kind of a rise in home prices in the area. Change of flora in the area. As more people are moving in, spending more on their houses, they’re bringing in more exotic plants that could certainly be affecting the local surrounding landscape. And, as far as me, you know, before my knee surgery, I water skied a lot but now I mostly go on walks kind of on the lakeshore and through some of the parks that they’ve installed pretty recently as more people have been moving to the area.

Interviewer: Wonderful. So, please let me hear your thoughts, just a little bit more if you have it on sort of the topics of the…just like the ecology and the biology of the surrounding landscape if you could address that.

Donna: Well, what do you mean by that?

Interviewer: So, I don’t know, just like the plants or animals you see running around. Have you noticed anything about that?

Donna: Well, like fish?

Interviewer: Fish is perfect, yeah.

Donna: Well, so, when we first moved here, the city used to stock up a bunch of fish for recreational purposes in the lake but because they’re reproducing and the water is, you know, a healthy quality for the fish and, of course, because it’s catch and release, they no longer have to stock the lake because it’s all full.

Interviewer: Oh, sweet.

Donna: Oh, and, of course, the bunnies. We’ve seen bunnies in our back yard ever since we first moved here. I like to think it’s just the same bunny family.

Interviewer: Oh, sick. That’s awesome. Anything else that you would think of you wanna share?

Donna: No, no. Nothing off the top of my head, but thanks for chatting with me.

Interviewer: No worries. I really appreciate your time and, yeah, thanks.

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