Just like the comparison of "winter" this year and previous ones, it's interesting to look at the condition of this year's drought conditions. The front lawn area is where this year's drought is most evident. The brown lawn looks more like something one sees in California than what one would expect in southeastern Michigan.
From Thursday morning (July 25, 2012):
Compare it with July 23, 2011:
September 7, 2010 (couldn't find a photo from the end of July):
July 23, 2009:
And although the lake appears to continue to be nice and blue and stable, it actually has continued to drop quite precipitously (considering that it's a spring fed lake and all). To wit:
On Thursday afternoon (July 25, 2012), you can see the matted bottom starting to show through the algal mat:
whereas two months ago (May 25, 2012) it was a channel deep enough for it to be a usable fish passage: