Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX–Part I

Tammy Brown

Piney Creek

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.

Lost Possessions

Piney Creek, Bastrop TX
Piney Creek-Boat

Tangles and Roots

An Accidental Ostrich and a Spooky Doll?

Piney Creek, Ostrich
Piney Creek, Hanging Doll

 Colors and Textures

The Creek

Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX
Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX
Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX
Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX
Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX
Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX

 A Tree and a Tunnel

Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX

Flowers and a Mayfly

Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX
Brown-eyed Susans on the bank
Piney Creek, Bastrop, TX
Mayfly on the Bank

Piney Creek Part II–Preview

My next post will be photos of the wide open part of Piney Creek.  Here’s a preview.


    1. Hi Joan. I’m pretty sure it’s a different Piney Creek. Ours flows from North Bastrop County, under 1441 and 95 and into the Colorado in Bastrop. I think it must be a common name.