Online DVD Rentals
Online DVD Rentals

July 04, 2010

Poured Out

We moved into this house in September of 2005. Full boxes were strewn about the living room. Pictures and furniture leaned against walls. We had no phone service. Yet the stream in the back yard was the very first order of business.

Tim and I dripped with mud and sweat as we rolled three massive boulders down to the far end of the property to buttress a small line of stones that crossed the stream. Tim was a 330-pound offensive guard then and I thought it was cool that a Steeler assisted in my homemaking.

From that day forward, people young and old have enjoyed the fruits of the dam. Wildlife flourishes. Kids have swam and rafted around. We've been entertained by native trout, ducks, turtles, and countless frogs, minnows, dragonflies, and crayfish. Crowds have roared during Walnutfest as their walnut floated toward the finish line.

Well, the dam came to an end today, converted to what I'd like to term a "trout nook." A resident far upstream claimed the dam was flooding the route 15 underpass and part of his property. Later, Zach Blair from the Department of Environmental Protection paid a visit to investigate the issue and the claims.

The trout nook. A determined trout can climb that now. Definitely.

"Your dam is less than three feet so it's fine, except for the fact that this is a native trout protected waterway. No dams are allowed in these."


Hmm. In the effort to harbor trout and other critters, I overlooked the possibility of wildlife wanting to come upstream to visit this area. Taking down the damn for the sake of the trout, in my mind, made the whole thing a lot more palatable. Zach and I talked for a while. I noticed his eyes light up when he saw a few trout dart away from us. He said this stream is a pretty unique and amazing thing, and I agreed.

Earlier today, a small crowd watched me, head hung low, standing waist deep in the water, reluctantly pulling up rocks and tree limbs.

"Do you think the trout can make it through that?"

Thirty minutes later, the frogs had two jumps to hit water. The level was well over a foot less. And guess what? The route 15 underpass is still completely submerged. It's been that way for about two years, ever since the state installed a drain that failed. It was supposed to divert highway runoff from a row of nearby town homes. That had nothing to do with the dam, and I'm pretty sure the little dam is a lot more trout friendly than highway runoff.

The underpass is still flooded. And awesome.

Ben and our neighbor Lianne and I have seen a beaver that resides back there, but lets not get into that. Seriously, I didn't mention the beaver to my complaining upstream neighbor.

Here's a photo of our back yard on the day the drain washed all kinds of rocks and dirt onto the underpass.

The waterway still amazes me. I stare at it, mesmerized when the sun is to my back. Pure water continually rolls through my shadow. It just keeps coming. I get the same feeling looking deep into the night sky.

This birthplace of the great Atlantic is only about a mile upstream, boiling from under two rocks and an old oak. It flows remarkably cool and consistent through summer drought. It never freezes in the winter. The surrounding topography contains no huge mountains or valleys. Where and whence it comes is a mystery.
I - said - mystery.

So please, geology and waterway engineer people, hold your tongue. What good can come from knowing more about this spring, being that I'm already compelled to be gentle? No, this is Gods blessing to my bunch of critters, and trout, ducks, frogs and bugs too. And a beaver. Lets not forget the beaver.

Right here in Mechanicsburg is a fountain of the deep poured directly from the hands of angels.
- - - - -

No comments: