Paternoster lakes are circular lakes formed in a series along a valley, also known as a glacial stairway. From above, paternoster lakes resemble rosary beads on a string. Paternoster is another word for “rosary,” deriving from the Latin pater noster, or “Our Father,” the two words that usually begin the rosary prayer. The term paternoster lakes is one of hundreds of terms about the natural world described in Homeground: A Guide to the American Landscape, edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney. This is part of a complete episode.

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