Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Creek

I've always thought it was grossly unfair that having been blessed with a creek, and just loving the flowing water, both the sounds and sight of it, we have also been blessed with what is a sort of seasonal creek.  On damp years we get a trickle all summer, but most years, about the time it warms up enough to want to go wading, there is no water in which to wade.  While I love all of God's creations, there are a few places where I think S/he could have put a little more thought into things, as in a creek that runs all summer, the time when we need it most for enjoyment, watering plants, for the birds and animals to drink and a whole list of things.
I could play in the creek for hours, looking at rocks, watching the tiny fish that swim in the deep puddles (and which sort of mysteriously disappear in the summer drought, only to reappear with the fall rains).  Every heavy rain brings us new rocks, the most unusual and prettiest of which get carried up into the gardens for edges or accents. There is a piece of cut stone down there right now that I would love to bring up, but which is way to heave to lift.  Maybe a couple of strong guys will volunteer for that job.  There could be some free plants in it for you.
As a child I was fascinated by the little spiders (are they actually spiders?) that walk on the surface of the water, as if they had little floats on their feet to keep them from sinking.  Lazily moving across the water.  I could watch them for hours.  Still can.  They seem to inhabit the same pools where the tiny fish live.
A creek is not a static thing. It is continually changing.  In the last 20 years, ours has dug itself a much deeper channel. It used to be only about a 1 foot step down to it, but now it is at least 4.  It keeps it from flooding the gardens, but the banks crumble with heavy rains or floods, so I expect it will at some point be more level with the surface of the gardens.  That's a log time away, though, so I probably won't live long enough to see that change.  Across the road, it becomes very wide and flat, probably at least 12 feet wide.  It's lazy and slow compared with our narrow one near the house.  I don't walk there much as it is hard to get to sometimes, but its banks shelter ferns, yellow violets and trilliuims so it is well worth the trek.
Here are some photos from the many seasons of our creek, which travels from it's source above our back pasture and joins others to enter the Hocking River at White's Mill which then heads on the the Ohio River.

This is between our wooden bridge and the bridge down on the road.  What you see on the left of the photo is where the road used to go.  The 'new' bridge was a WPA project, so it is getting pretty old too.  The road used to go almost right in front of the house.

It's amazing how we can have rapids in our little creek when the water gets high and fast.

And 2 photos of different floods.  Only once has the water come high enough to get near the house and that was during a hurricane where we got 9 inches of rain in not too many hours.  I think that had more to do with the rain than the creek.

The water here is at least 4 feet deep and would wash me all the way to White's Mill is I was silly enough to venture into it.

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