Friday, March 30, 2012

And then the Rains Came..........

Last week we were faced with snow, cold weather, and power outages. This week, just for fun, Mother Nature sent us high winds and massive rainfall. A "pineapple express" out of the Pacific arrived Wednesday night. On Thursday we received 1.15" of rain of today we received another 1.15". After work, I grabbed my rain gear and camera and went for a very soggy walk. In summary, there was "water, water, everywhere!". I started at what we call Dorothy's creek on our property. This small, season creek was amazing. It was deep, wide and running really fast. Its roar was in such contrast to its normal, gentle gurgle.

Whitecaps on Dorothy's creek!

Next I headed down the secret path to the bridge that leads to my big garden. Many years ago, after substantial rains just like this, the old bridge here nearly washed away. My brother and Dad built me a new bridge and raised its base a good foot or more. That was the right decision. As you can see, the water today was less then a foot from the underside of the bridge. I didn't attempt to cross it. I know it was structurally sound but the footing was very slippery because of the rain and wet leaves. I didn't need to slip and get swept away.

Back on our driveway, a picture of the creek flowing to our culvert.

I walked down to the next driveway. As the creek departs our property it has to funnel through a large culvert under our neighbor's driveway. There was so much water trying to get through it was backing up and flooding the surrounding land.

But once it made it through that culvert, the creek was fast and furious once again.

Right off of our neighbor's driveway is an old rock quarry. It has filled with water and now is a nice pond with frogs, ducks, and the occasional turtle or heron. Normally, the water level is much lower but today the pond was lapping at the roadside. 

The big excitement was who I saw at the pond today! As I approached it from the driveway a bird flew off  of the high bank above the pond. It made a horrible rattling sound and madly flew wide circles around me. I could tell that it had a white ring around its neck and that it had a sharp bill. But it was flying so fast I couldn't make out too many details. After returning home and reading our bird field guide and then coming back to take pictures,  I can confidently say that we have a pair of Kingfishers here! I have only ever seen kingfishers at the Siuslaw river near the Coast. How cool to have a pair right in our neighborhood.

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