Slide show: Bodies of Wonder Posted August 29, 2012

Madison wouldn’t be Madison without its five nearby lakes that offer an abundance of choices — from quiet locations for contemplation to vast playgrounds during balmy days. Lake Mendota is the largest, and it’s been called the most studied American lake, given the Center for Limnology standing near its banks. Lake Monona, which is surrounded by the city on three sides, is a popular fishing spot. Lake Waubesa, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Wingra round out the options for those who love the water.

At left, sailboats bob in Lake Mendota near the Memorial Union Terrace just after a brief thunderstorm and just as the sun sets.