During our New Year's Day walkabout, Muzzy and I explored the creek that runs along the east side of the Park. I hadn't been down there in years. The threat of poison ivy and the sssssnakes is enough to keep me out of the woods and the creek bed, thank you. On a crisp winter's day, the likelihood of meeting serpents or poisonous plants was pretty low. Pshew.
Years ago, Roma and I used to spend a lot of time down in the creek. Before the erosion that I mentioned in a previous post, there used to be a kind of rocky "beach." I would skip rocks while Roma cooled her paws in the water, which was clean enough. There's no mistaking this creek for a pastoral scene. As you can see, our creek is totally urban; it serves as a conduit for run-off and sewer pipes.
When we would walk in the early morning, Roma and I would often disturb a large water bird—a heron or a crane? It was a graceful, leggy thing with an impressive wingspan. It would launch into the air, glide a hundred feet south, and then swoop and land. Roma was still spry and would catch up to the bird almost as soon as it landed. She wasn't trying to harass it; she was merely interested in it as a strange, elusive creature. The bird never thought to fly in the opposite direction. Eventually, we'd turn around, so it could find its breakfast undisturbed. I don't know if that bird or others like it still inhabit the creek, which was so dry this summer.
Trash, of course, is a constant issue. Much of it comes from run-off when the creek floods. The neighborhood the creek runs through usually sponsors a Memorial Day picnic and clean-up, starting at a tiny greenbelt park just south of Dog Park. Above, plastic trash bag flags whip in the breeze.
One summer I devoted way too much time to throwing rocks from one side of the creek at a drainage tunnel opening on the other side, just north of here on the embankment. I must have thrown hundreds of pebbles and stones at the hole—and missed every time. Then, after long absence, Roma and I went back. I picked up a stone and tossed it. Zing! It went right into the drainage tunnel. Amazing. I never again made another direct hit.