Sunday, April 01, 2007

hidden creek

After a rainy weekend spent indoors with the kids, not to mention a broken GameCube (We're getting it fixed, but meanwhile The Hermit found a standby on Ebay for $25), I needed to get out. Yes, earlier I had made it walking as far as the pond, but this little cat named Ms. Otto kept following me, and I didn't want to get too close to the neighbors across the road and find out what they were really discussing outside this afternoon. So I had to escape through muddy driveway and muddy roads with our van, for just a little break.

The van didn't have much gas, so I didn't venture out too far, just along a dead end road that goes to the east less than a mile north of here. I was hoping to see a raptor or two, or some other signs of spring. I drove up the road, noticing the torrent of water flowing where last year I was walking over wet rocks but still seeing brook trout.

I drove up close to the end, then turned around in a driveway. Driving back, I decided to stop at a small area that has intrigued me. There is a bedrock outcrop there, and a small road flag on the north side of the road warns of the danger, if there is one. I pulled the van to the side of the road, turned the engine off, and got out.

The ground was saturated with the recent rainfall, but it was not too much. After all, on a bedrock outcrop, there's not going to be too much mud! I heard the rushing of water, hidden in a deep crevice below. As I approached the sound, I saw bright green.

The moss and lichens show that there is no topsoil here. But they are doing thier best to take care of that situation, dissolving rock and dying and building up an organic layer.

Not too far off the road, I came to a steep ledge, and there was the stream rushing below. In this particular area, it looked like it cut through a break in the bedrock. The banks at one point were about twenty feet high. I felt as if I had stumbled upon a magical place, a geological oddity in this land where flat shrub swamps are the rule.

This picture hardly gives it justice; the undergrowth got in the way. I was standing on a high, narrow ridge of rock.

I had not seen this creek in this area before. I had always seen it as a little roadside ditch. But now I understand I was only seeing part of the picture along the continuum.

This part of the stream looks very trouty. Given the bedrock, there are likely spring seeps that keep the stream temperature cool in summer. Good shade here too.

So that was my surprise blessing for the day. I also heard my first ruffed grouse drumming this year, as I was walking back from that spot along the creek.

Earlier, I was in the cookshed doing something (or possibly escaping) when Mr. Attitude came running in. "Mom, what kind of birds go woo-woo?"

"That could be swans!" I was out the door. Just in time to see a flock of tundra swans flying low, right over the house. Woo-woo. This is so awesome.

Totally unrelated, tonight we watched the movie "Borat". It is hilarious. Tears of laughter at some points. Highly recommended.


Madcap said...

Morning, Deb. Swans - yay! I haven't spotted any of those yet. I did see that merlin that you identified for me last fall, though, on his way back in this opposite direction.

Floridacracker said...

What a neat find. Thanks for taking us. I haven't seen Borat yet, but it's on the Netflix list.
Woo hoo for the woo woo!

greg said...

Awesome post Deb! Happy spring to you!

Larry said...

I used to dream about finding streams like that when I was in to trout fishing.

Deb said...

madcap- Good to hear from you! I check in to your blog every so often, hoping to see a thoughtful post. Hope life is treating you well.

FC- It was amazing to see. And, I think you'll really enjoy Borat.

Greg- Happy spring to you too! Trout opener is just around the corner...

Larry- This one is a well kept secret. Well, except for me blabbing about it here...

I hope to go back there soon, before the trees leaf out, and explore some more. Of course it is on private property, but the owners don't have it posted and there are few signs of activity on the land, so I'll be discreet...I would like to examine that rock face and see what kind of unique plants may be growing there.

Cindy said...

still smiling at 'woo woo'.. :) sounds like a magical 'secret place' Deb..thanks for the movie headsup too, will add that one to my netflix list..

from now on when I view tundras I'll think of that woo woo ;)