Tom's Blog

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wetland flood

The past week has been one for the ages. Not quite up to Biblical levels, but still a record amount of rain. Two major rain storms within a few days of each other occurred, sending rivers from their banks, tearing out highways, and flooding towns.

At Pleasant Valley Conservancy we had over 6 inches of rain, mostly coming in heavy, heavy rainstorms. I was able to watch the rain event on Sunday, June 8, 2008, since Kathie and I were scheduled to run a field trip for the Natural Resources Foundation, and the starting time for the trip was a few minutes before the heavens opened up for the second time. We obviously could not hike, so we met in the barn and had a lecture until the rains stopped. While lecturing with the barn door open I was able to watch the sheets of rain descend. For a time, it was impossible to even see the sedge meadow that was about 10 feet from the barn door. That's rain!

The total rain in this one event, which lasted about an hour, was 3 inches. Pleasant Valley Creek overflowed its banks and spread muddy water over our wetland. Who knows what happened to the sandhill crane nest that was nearby.

Two days later the wetland was still full of water, and it was possible to see where the spring-fed creek that rises on our property met the muddy water from the storm event. The photo shows the border between these two streams. Let's hope we can return to a more normal weather pattern.


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