This week of dire weather forecasts for the Pacific Northwest saw a year’s worth of snow fall on Seattle in a few remarkable days. Yet the lower elevations of Washington County, west of Portland, Oregon remained chilly, but stubbornly snow-free.
Gaia took notice, and dumped hours of hard rain on NW Oregon over the last few days. The creeks are rising, including a three foot wide muddy torrent that barreled down the hill through my neighbors’ hard pan barren backyards, and slithered under my fence at several locations.
The runoff around the neighborhood seems stronger than what I expected, with muddy runoff eddying down the streets. Rock Creek breached its banks and flooded the golf course, and the bridge we take to walk at Bethany Lake.
I visit the neighbors’ yards, they are flooded also. In an aside, the neighbors confide they love the peeper frogs; I sign them up as future Frog Court witnesses.
On Highway 30 along the Columbia River, the pavement disappears from the deluge in spots. Overflows close other main roads; some are cracking.
In my own yard, I look over the fence at my neighbor’s barren terrain, where hundreds of gallons of stormwater are rushing towards me.
I like walking around in my yard in the rain, within reason. The rocks glisten. The water’s flow reveals the yard’s secret terrain. The ponds overfill and the artificial pond edges disappear beneath the rippling waters.
High water during frog mating season can double attendance.
I wonder if the neighbor’s redwoods know my back yard is an ephemeral (seasonal) creek. The nearest redwood sends yards of inquiring roots into my vegetable beds, hunting nutrients.
I watch where the storm runoff puddles and flows. I marvel at how the ground seems to weep at the lowest edge of our lot; how does the groundwater know to do that?
Now it’s your turn.
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a nature refuge.
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What have you noted in your area or travels? Whose at the bird feeders?
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