Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Creek

[Details largely dictated by my daughter]

One of the nicest things about this house in the country is that it is near the end of a road, and the road ends at Icicle Creek (which flows into the Wenatchee River, which in turn flows into the Columbia River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. Salmon use all those paths to get back here to the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, which is on Icicle Creek, up the river from here.

Nearly every day, some or all of us venture down to have adventures of one sort or another at the creek.

Before we got up here, Grandma and my daughter were spending a good portion of each day down at the creek. When we arrived, they had caught and brought home a good-sized bucket full of minnows, who seemed happy enough to be living in the living room, but the first evening we were here, we took them back to live in the creek.

At this point in the year, Icicle Creek is pretty small and quiet. You can pretty much walk across it, even if you're about 3-and-a-half feet tall, like my daughter (if you pick your route carefully). One of the joys of a low river filled with sand bars and things is the way you can poke around and dig and make channels and bays and all sorts of water works. We've had a great time digging with sticks and hands and things to make extensive works. And every day, we get to do some more.

And there are things living in the creek. On one of her trips down there this visit, my wife saw a log in the creek. Except the log started swimming. Apparently this log was actually a fish. We suppose a fish of that size in this creek must be a salmon, but we're not entirely sure. In any case, a chase ensued, with the salmon swimming into shallower and shallower parts of the creek, but the people kept digging channels for it to swim through into the deeper parts, and blocked behind it with a log and pushed with hands to make sure the salmon would make it farther along.

That evening, there was no sign of the salmon, so we hope it had continued up the creek to the hatchery via the deeper water where it could swim.

Grandma and my daughter have also fashioned pens for the minnows, using sand to create channels, walls, and pens. Water can flow in to nourish the minnows, but we hope the minnows have swum out into the creek by now.

1 comment:

Laura E. Goodin said...

Water seems to be quite a leitmotif for your vacation! Of course, it's an obsessive topic here in Oz. Even here on the coast, where things get wet a lot, water caution has become much more common. (Humans are careless with abundance; it's human nature. But the residents of the Sydney area have, during this extended drought, learned not just how not to increase water usage, but actually how to reduce it!

But as for creeks, I don't play in them here. Leeches.... *shudder*