Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cottonwood Report (Sneak Preview)

What’s that mysterious perturbation on the water surface on the right?
The Laramie River is a mighty river now -- not just a wimpy little plains stream.  It’s officially in moderate flood, and will rise even higher soon.  The days are warm and the snow in the mountains is melting fast.
Maybe you thought the bench in the first photo was Rich’s bench -- it’s not.  It’s Kayla’s bench, nearby on higher ground.  Rich’s bench is at the tip of the red arrow in the first photo.

This was Rich’s bench a month ago ...
and then last week ...
and now today -- just a minor perturbation on the surface of the water.
Kayla's in bench in lower right corner; Rich's bench in center.
My cottonwood tree used to be accessible by land.  Now one needs a boat.  It’s standing on an island between the river channel and an overflow stream.
River channel on right, overflow on left, my tree in center.
The river has taken over large areas of low land, as it often does in spring.
I like it when the river floods -- it makes my neighborhood seem a little bit wild.  I like watching its changing form.  Ducks and shorebirds show up to take advantage of the overflow, and the beaver are out more, not sure why.  Maybe they like it when parts of the walking/biking path are underwater and people stay away.  A few times I’ve seen beavers munching on the soft herbaceous plants that grow along the edge of the path -- like evening primroses and dandelions.
Aquatic dandelions?
I like it when the Laramie River flows swift and full, as it's doing now.  It even drowns out the sound of trucks on the highway a short distance west!  That's a real river.

This news really belongs in my June tree-following report.  But I couldn’t wait -- it’s too exciting!  Check the post of June 8 for more.


  1. Love that picture of the bench at sunset, it has such a nice mood!
    So the cottonwoods are doing well, right? Over here the ponderosa are dying :-( I went to a talk the other day and they're seeing it all over the southwest. Here in town, I see the ponderosa close to streets or walls dying because they get less water teh ones farther away are still holding up. We had some good rains in the spring, even though we had little snow in winter, so I'm hoping ...

    1. thanks, Elena. where would I be without photography to make me see beauty! ;-) Our cottonwoods are doing fine, we're having "normal" weather here. I'm sorry to hear about your ponderosas. I don't usually think of them as drought victims, but I guess everything must suffer with years of drought.