A thick line of pines and oaks marks the steep bank of Piney Creek; below lies the running stream in its sandy bed shaded by giant cottonwoods and old pines. Bird songs mingle with the burble of water flowing over shining stones. Dagonflies and mayflies catch the dappled light and sparkle while tadpoles and minnows dart about in dark pools. It’s beautiful and wild in the creek bottom. However, in the midst of the natural beauty, there is an intrusion of manmade objects–relics of the floods of last year and years before.
Piney Creek floods its banks once or twice a year. When the creek floods, it rises quickly and sweeps up every thing that isn’t tied down from the yards of neighbors upstream. Boats, chairs, toys, and trash ride the rapids, bobbing down the creek, past Little Piney, and on to the Colorado River–that is unless they get trapped along the way. Deep in the creek bottom below Little Piney lies such a trap. It is an island of objects snatched by trees, held by vines, and partially buried in mud–a disturbing history of things lost and not found.
Today, Ken and I visited the creek in all it’s spring beauty, and there, as usual, lay the boat, the toy kitchen, the raft, and more tangled with vines and pinned by young trees growing through and around. Other objects lay on the ground as if just dropped from the bank. Usually, I complain about the trash, and plan neighborhood clean up efforts that I know will never happen. Today, I decided to look at the objects as relics, pieces of a story, and photographed them. We will pick up some of the small things, one piece at a time, one walk at a time and dispose of them properly, and maybe drag some of the larger things up with a rope. What remains will wash away in another flood only to be replaced by more items carelessly left untied upstream,
Here are a few of the things we saw in the bed of Piney Creek.
Tangles and Roots
An Accidental Ostrich and a Spooky Doll?
Colors and Textures
A Tree and a Tunnel
Flowers and a Mayfly
Piney Creek Part II–Preview
My next post will be photos of the wide open part of Piney Creek. Here’s a preview.