Trees Falling, Creeks’ Rizin’
It’s been wet out there.
Nobody is complaining.
Last week I donned the rain gear and took the pack for a refreshing tromp around the canyon. The girls braved the non- stop drenching down-pour, (a real frog-strangler as my old Dad would say), and were all happy to gather around the woodstove afterwards to dry off. And a tip of the rain bonnet to little Sarah, with her 2.65 inch clearance, who tagged along gamely even though she had to be heaved across a few creek crossings to avoid being washed away downstream.
At 4000′ elevation here in the Sierra foothills the ground is not frozen, and so the soil is still able to drink up all of this free water that is falling from the sky.
Insatiably. Still not saturated. Room for more. Despite the storms the reservoirs are still far below average levels, because all the water is soaking into the soil.
It’s okay; soil comes first.
Water is also being soaked up by dry dead vegetation, especially trunks of dead
trees. Did you know an old log, laying on the ground, can hold onto many gallons of
water all summer long? Kind of a handy natural reservoir.
There’s a 200+ year old oak tree on the edge of our property, mostly dead, but still standing, mostly, at least it was until the other night. While the girls and I were in basking by the wood stove we heard a tremendous boom/crash, like a cannon firing right outside the back door. After determining that the house, deck and roof were still intact we discovered that our Grandmother oak tree had parted with her top half. Surrendered it to gravity. A rotten spot located at a split in the main trunk had soaked up so much water that it was more sponge than tree trunk, and accordingly had failed to stay connected to the several tons of solid and saturated oak comprising the remainder of the tree. It took out our back fence, blocked the old logging road behind the house, and gave us the satisfaction of knowing that we would have plenty of oak firewood to keep us warm for several winters to come. And definitely made noise. We were all thankful for the timing of the crash, which was a good two hours after the girls and I had passed along the road under the tree. Two hours is nothing to a centuries old oak tree, but to me it was the best two hours in my life!
And so because an oak tree stayed 75 feet above the earth for an extra 2 hours, today I am tromping around Jenkinson Lake to inspect the latest of Mother Nature’s handiwork, and not taking anything for granted.
Lake levels are up, but you can still go down to the east end and find the old bricks for a little while longer.
Park Creek Falls is an impressive raging torrent- the faucet set to full on wide open
and the tub is filling rapidly.
Sun is shining.
Seize the day: go
for a walk!