Hard rains just swept across NW Oregon and vicinity. The creeks climbed their banks.
I watch Rock Creek, and its tributaries that flow through Bethany Lake, ten miles west of Portland Oregon. Upstream of Bethany Lake, a half mile wide grassy meadow has transformed into a nicely braided creek with a half dozen channels. Elephant-eye-high cattails hide the numerous backwaters but the ducks, herons, nutria, fish, and frogs seek every corner.
The Park District has diverted storm water runoff from the surrounding neighborhoods into daylighted channels of forgotten creeks that feed into what’s become enormous wetlands.
It’s deemed the Rock Creek Greenway and the wildlife can now exploit hundreds of acres of ponds, miles of flowing water, back channels, forested wetlands, timber snags, bogs, and swamps.
There’s a link to a map through this link. I open it in a new window. It shows how Rock Creek snakes along just west of the Lake.
I pretend it’s my Backyard.
Sometimes a Great Blue Heron leaves the Lake and comes to my real backyard to eat goldfish from my ponds.
So when Billy didn’t come to my backyard for a few months, I went looking. No problem, Billy looks fine and has moved its hunting grounds to the far west of Bethany Lake. The lead picture of Billy in this Bucket is from Nov. 15.
I’m guessing that the Park District’s recent work drove Billy out of his favorite fishing spots. They repaired berms that control flows from the Lake into the Creek and wetlands. Their work’s done, and Billy’s back.
I like the Park’s hydraulics; the Lake overflows and fill up a big dry wetland west of the Lake instead of flooding the Park paths, if there’s enough capacity.
From the west side of the Lake, the Park District asks that folks stay out.
Today several pairs of mallards cruised the wetland.
If you can open the map in the link, you can see how Rock Creek runs west of, but not into the Lake. Now the Lake flows into the Creek and the wetlands in at least two places, and then the Creek turns south.
This wetland fills up and then flows south, back into Rock Creek.
There’s several acres of oaks just upland from the Lake, with a dozen giant evergreens interspersed, likely firs.
Several acres of scarce oaks border the lake to the west, and shade the creek. When the oaks topple, they create little dams where fish can rest and herons can hunt.
Fourth-growth oaks and cedars compete for sunlight south of the lake as the old oaks die.
I walked almost to the berm without a problem. But something happened when I tried to walk back out.
Gaia saw I’d had a tough time, and arranged some solace.
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