Friday, April 20, 2012

Little Swamp Creek in April

Salmonberry blossom

Give us some warm, sunny, spring days, and suddenly everything along the stream comes alive!  And I breathe a sigh of relief each spring when I see life returning IN Little Swamp Creek itself, too.  

 Here are a couple of little 1.5-2"-long fish that were hanging out at different spots in the stream - 

I've seem some larger fish (maybe 4" long) zipping by, but they are too quick for me to identify.

We are starting to see the trails of caddisfly larvae along the bottom of the stream.  Here's a caddisfly larva conveniently perched for a photo (though it's hard to get a clear photo through rippling water...) -

I recently recalled that 10 years ago we used to see small groups of river eels hanging out in dips in the stream bed, but we haven't seen any recently.  Ha!  On the day I was taking update photos I happened to spot two eels swimming upstream.  Unfortunately all of my photos of those quick critters ended up being blurry, but you get the idea -

And suddenly our native plants are leafing out like crazy --

Red Currant

Nootka Rose


Indian Plum seedling  (love it when good seedlings show up instead of just weeds)

Red Osier Dogwood

Big Leaf Maple

All of the plants haven't leafed out yet, but already you can see what a thick, shady riparian zone we now have along the stream where there used to be some trees and mostly lawn.  This side is going into the fourth year since planting in spring of 2009 -

This shot is looking south into the yard.  This area was planted a year later than the other side, so it's beginning its third year.  I'll post another shot after the plants have all of their foliage -

I've been noticing heron in the planted area behind the fence -

I'll post photos of how the plants are doing in that area soon. 

A variety of trash shows up in the stream, the best being parts of old glass bottles.  While I was taking pictures of the caddisfly larva I looked over to see the sun shining on this chunk of green glass in the stream. Nice to see beauty in litter.

Foam keeps collecting on the upstream side of this large woody debris installed in the stream bank.   I've read that one cause of foam can be faulty septic systems upstream.  Or soap.  Since the presence of the foam is pretty constant, I'm thinking it's septic.  Yuck.

And this photo.... a teaser for a post to come.

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