Little corner of my world.

9-13-img_3252Along these lower creekside paths in my neighborhood, maintenance vehicles may drive when they are taking care of things. Recently I had seen one down there that didn’t look very official, an unmarked white SUV, just parked, with no crew around, and I wondered… who? Yesterday I saw it again, driving slowly along, then stopping, then creeping forward, and then at one pause a man got out, and I backtracked so I could talk to him across the channel, as he was lifting away a dead branch.

He said he worked for the water agency, and that as they clean out out the creek beds in preparation for winter, they want to preserve bird nests. He was marking any he found, so they would be spared.

That explains the desecration I saw a couple of weeks ago, seemingly random messes where it looked like elephants had trampled across the streams in places. Now I’m guessing it was humans with some heavy equipment for cutting trees and carrying them off.

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Looks like pennyroyal.
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This old willow tree is a familiar friend.

These watercourses that flow from the hills are natural parts of the geography, but they also carry groundwater from the neighborhoods on either side, so it is a constant labor to preserve the ecology of the stream and keep it open, while not turning it into a mere drainage ditch. Occasionally they have to dredge out silt, and the stream looks momentarily ravaged, but quickly the willows and horsetail grass and myriad shrubs and vines start to fill in again. The egrets and mallards and frogs don’t get lost.

Darkness hangs on later these days, so I start my walks later in the morning. Today men with chain saws were already down in the dry areas of the creek bed as I walked by. One man was carefully grooming the lower parts of a small tree, getting it prepared for such time as fast waters will flow past. Let there not be any branches on which to hang debris and start the clogging-up again.

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Looking down from a bridge.

It’s been such a gift this summer to walk almost daily on these paths so close to my house. Each morning or evening the views are slightly changed, the birds and flowers presenting new events to witness. As the days shorten and the weather becomes a little less friendly, I hope I can still get myself down there often, and keep learning about this small corner of my world.

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10 thoughts on “Little corner of my world.

  1. So fabulous to be out breathing in the seasons. I hope you will walk right through Autumn and into crisp, clean Winter x It is getting darker in the mornings here too, and supper time needs soft lighting and candles!

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  2. The egrets and mallards and frogs don’t get lost.

    I love that. My foot, hurt weeks ago, is almost ready to start walking the nearby trails again. I’ve missed a month or so but have enjoyed the change to the kayak outings. It’s fun to go on your walks with you too. Now that I see these photos I’m not sure, like the blue jays, I’d like to be both along the creek and in your yard!

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  3. Ah, so this is where the egrets live. I was touched by the man checking for bird nests along the way. That kind of care doesn’t always happen.

    I don’t know if I read, or thought, “To know one good place in all its seasons,” but that’s what I love. It will be a delight to follow you through yours.

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  4. What a lovely, peaceful blessing to have so close at hand! Not many people have such a beautiful path, cared for and preserved for them. And I’m wondering about your willow tree — We have willows here, “weeping willows,” but they are not the same as your tree. Is that a different kind of willow?

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    1. Mary Kathryn, it has the weeping willow sort of leaves, which is the only reason I was so bold as to name it a willow. No one ever told me it was. If it is a willow, I wonder if it was trimmed so severely over the years, so as not to hang down on the path, that it can’t “weep” characteristically low … ?

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