Friday, December 25, 2009


Here is one the more scenic sections of creek at Blue Jay Barrens. That snow covered log lying on the bank was once part of a tree that fell and bridged the creek at this point. When the tree finally decomposed and fell, the flood waters put this section up on the bank and it hasn’t moved for several years.

Although it’s a short drop, waterfall music abounds here. This is perfect for people who are soothed by the sound of moving water. Small in size, but big in sound, the gurgles, splashes and bloops of the little falls make it a bad location if your aim is to enjoy the sound of nature in the woods.

Fast moving water keeps any silt from settling here. The clean rock bottom makes an ideal location for streamlined mayfly nymphs that graze algae from the rocks in fast moving water.

The fractured limestone bedrock has created a series of uneven stair steps. In the spring, tiny Northern Creek Chubs and Blacknose Daces stage in the pool and make leaps and runs to clear the falls. It’s like having a miniature model of a salmon run.

The unique geology of the area is responsible for the characteristics of this waterfall. The gradual left to right tilt of the bedrock shelf guides the water to the right, where a section of bedrock has fallen away.

A strong downward slant in the bedrock towards the upstream direction has created an upthrust that effectively stops the water from flowing straight downstream.

This big slab of rock seems to be quite stable, so I’m hoping the waterfall will be a long term feature at Blue Jay Barrens.

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