Now the deer don’t have to concentrate at the isolated pools and the creek banks won’t suffer further damage.
Even though we had over three inches of rain, the creek did not experience any flooding or even a strong flow. The water that entered the creek came primarily from ground water that had been restored during the rain event. Severe flooding in these small tributaries is a man made phenomenon. Poor land management practices destroyed the natural structure of the soil and reduced the ability of the soil to allow water to infiltrate. When water can’t move into the ground, it quickly flows across the surface to the stream and causes flash flooding. As the soil structure improves at Blue Jay Barrens, a greater percentage of rainfall is able to travel through the soil to the ground water layer and the creek suffers less from high flows.
The leaves were hardly disturbed by the resurrection of the creek. Leaves are the primary source of energy for the stream ecosystem. A multitude of organisms will work to break down these leaves and utilize their stored energy before the leaves get moved further down stream.
Larger organisms will pull leaves beneath the stream bed rocks and consume them at a leisurely pace. As the leaves get broken into bits, smaller organisms will cache the bits for later use.
It’s nice to have the creek back. I love listening to the water fall over the rocks and watching tiny insects working their way across the gravel and seeing the reflection of sky and rocks in the calm water. The creek is quite cheery during the winter and is a strong reminder of life when all else appears dormant.