Archive for January 20th, 2011

I wanted to take a walk and others I usually walk with were occupied.  So, I decided to be random and go off of the paved trail, take my camera, and see if there was anything worth seeing.

What might be seen or smelled after a snow melt?

A few others had a similar idea.  Snow on the ground for a full week is rare here so we have a desire to get outdoors, even if it is muddy. Not really knowing where I was

Wonder who went along this field's edge?

going, I followed some tire tracks past a “Do not enter” sign, meant for vehicles I’m sure since it exited a parking lot.  I was still wandering what I might find that really interested me.  The sky was bright which hadn’t happened in several days, but my eye was caught by what was to the right of the path. 

OK, in the title I exaggerated for effect. It was really a channeled creek because ditch is defined as “a long, narrow excavation made in the ground by digging, as for

Channeled Creek

 draining or irrigating land; trench.” (dictionary.com)  Webster’s also defines natural watercourses of the same general shape as ditches but that confuses things signficantly. It does make a difference and can cost money and headaches as many a contractor can tell you. Frequently creeks are channeled with bulldozers to drain wet areas or reduce the space the creek uses.  In the link that follows a contractor has to follow costly rules because of history and definition, which are mentioned in the article.  (http://http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/mar/11/stream-or-ditch-county-says-phinney-creek-is-the/)  How dominion of nature is to be practiced should be a subject for another time but it should matter to us all since it effects what we are responsible to steward and effects us directly as well.  So here I am. Is there anything of beauty or interest?


The cat-tail suggests abundant moisture in the summer, but looks a bit strange to my sight framed in snow. 

Grass or water plants?

But if what was growing under the water was grass this is just a ditch that is flowing now because of snow melt rather than an all weather creek.  Which is it? The evidence of continuous moisture suggests that it is no ordinary terrestrial grass. I tried taking pictures of several tadpoles and fish (ranging from small minnows to perhaps 4 inches), but alas they were fast.

Rabbit tracks?

Some things that are fast may be recorded by other means.  The one at left was on snow above ice frozen on the water course. The one at right was more obvious as to its owner.

Raccoon track

At several places the small trees arched over the creek. Under one I thought as I approached that I saw blood.  But alas my imagination got the best of me. They were berries from a vine in a tree overhead.  Some will sprout where they lay and others will wash out during a storm event.

Place seeds in the freezer for better sprouting

There was far more evidence of human disturbance on the site than I am showing.  Some were careless and even abusive of the land resource and others were management that allows nature and urban small town to co-exist.

Growth rings

How many rings do you count? The little star pattern at center of the wood is curious.  The cutting must have been recent because there is no bleeding out of resin or darkening due to weathering.  At about halfway down the water course I started seeing these anchors.

Anchorage= net force of zero

Just above the bones and brown bottle deposit was a five foot diameter sewer line that ran above ground for perhaps 200 feet. That’s the reason my pictures focus close at hand. I was looking for life and beauty and sometimes that takes focus.  Speaking of focus, sometimes I almost want my analog camera (read “film camera”) back because this high end point and shoot digital focuses where it will and I missed a Tufted Titmouse taking a bath in the creek. He, yes feathers were bright blue, was quite frisky and twirpy (Hey, Shakespeare made up words and so do

Chicken and brew

Deposits of various colors

 tweeters on Twitter.) 

White Clay

 There was evidence of exposed soils and leeching as in this iron deposit seep with a blue feather (Titmouse or Bluejay?) fallen in its middle. Further downstream I spied a deposit of Potter’s clay in the bank and under the ripples.

Polypodium- Resurrection Fern


This is an appropriate name for a fern


that is growing out of a bank and out of the snow.  Oh, I wish I knew more plants. The red berries are on a plant that grows as hedge in many people’s yards.  Red berries seem to be more abundant and bright on vine and holly and so forth this year.  What causes that?    Then the creek went under the paved path and there was life here, too, in the form of  Mud Daubers’ nests. They paralyze prey to be eaten by immerging larvae. 

Mud Dauber Nests

The other side of the pipe had a more natural watercourse winding with small sand bars and deeply  cut banks down to the river.My commentary has gone too long but my short walk down the creek revealed much to see of beauty and life even in winter on a disturbed site.
After a look around at the river I crawled back up the bank to the paved path for a short walk back to the car. I was thankful that a small detour would bring such variety of things to feast the eyes and soul upon, because I know the Maker of all the little details Who delights to show us His creativity if we will but search for it.

Less disturbed mouth of the stream

May God teach us how to enjoy and utilize His Creation to His glory.


Observation Deck over the River
We may enjoy, utilize, and care for what the Wise Creator has given us to take dominion over. Dominion does not have to mean abuse and conservation does not have to mean locking away all that there is from use. There is a middle ground that I believe is both biblical and prudent.


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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18


Pointing to the One who made, saved, and sustains