The Yahara chain of lakes dominates our landscape. For the past 12,000 years, almost as soon as the last glacier withdrew, people have been drawn to the land surrounding what we now call Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa.

On Sunday, July 28, the Wisconsin State Journal begins publication of "The Yahara Lakes − Giants Among Us," a five-part series exploring the many ways the lakes affect our lives, and the many ways we interact with them.

The series includes original reporting, photography and graphics; online interactives; historical and underwater photographs; and reader stories and photos. Look for installments July 28 and 31, and August 1, 2 and 4.