The choice was, should I clean out the basement, or go shoot photographs? Today’s forcast was for fantastic weather. Tomorrow’s, not so much. To me it was a no brainer. I only had a couple of hours before I was to meet Laura for lunch and run some errands, so I decided to explore our own environs. I donned my hip waders, put my camera in one of my dry bags, and waded into Lake Fairfield.
The lake has been lowered for winter maintenance, so crossing the creek behind our house was no problem. With the lower water, the channels have changed somewhat. There is now a small waterfall right behind our house, and debris from previous storms is quite visible. I even found a piece of someone’s deck that had washed away.
I followed the McCarter Creek streambed on upstream. This portion has long been silted in, and now there are large trees and a riparian habitat. Little rivulets run all through the area. Unfortunately, most are orange with pollutants and crud. The last time I was here with lake levels back to normal, most of the area was inundated, with the trees standing in or at the edge of water.
The wood area opened up to a more exposed area. There were fantastical shapes created by vines and grasses that had overtaken small shrubs.
As one might expect, there was lots of trash in the area. Most appeared to have washed out of yards, etc. as the result of flooding. I didn’t see any collections of beer cans or bottles that would indicate that this remote site was being used as a hangout.
The lake is fed by two streams – McCarter Creek and Brushy Creek. In the upper section of the lake, the identity of these two can get confusing. Right behind the houses on Hermitage, Brushy Creek looks like it’s headed for an intersection with McCarter, but then stops. Those houses used to be lakefront, but are now bordered by woods with a pseudo-stream back behind.
I continued on Brushy Creek, and came to another little waterfall. I’m sure this one wouldn’t exist with higher lake levels.
Just up the stream I spotted our Great Blue Heron wading. Nearby were a couple of non-native species.
I reached the area that runs right along our street and where most of the flood damage occurs. The back side of the Gleich household looked like a disaster area. It is constantly flooded any time it rains.
I finally reached the bridge on Hermitage that is scheduled for removal. It has been said that at one time one could actually walk under this bridge. With all the siltation, there is only about 18 inches of clearance, and the upstream side of the bridge is clogged with debris. Subsequently, it acts like a dam at higher water levels. One of our neighbors has taken to sandbagging his garage.
I made my way home along our street. Thankful that we like on one of the highest points, I stopped to take one more shot of the lake from our back yard. The lower stream is Brushy Creek, and the upper stream is McCarter.