Holiday Flood 2015

About 1:00 p.m. Dec. 23

About 1:00 p.m. Dec. 23

That green patch on the left side of this photo? That’s an earthen bridge over a low spot. We use it to get the tractor onto the floodplain — during drier times, obviously. Yesterday, raging creek waters overflowed, cutting it off on both sides, cascading in roaring torrents, filling the air with a dank, heaviness that made it hard to breathe.

I walked just to the edge of the floodplain after the rains stopped for a different view.

I walked just to the edge of the floodplain after the rains stopped for a different view.

Today our temperatures are predicted to rise into the high 70s. This morning I stepped outside to take a few “after” shots. Birds are flying about trying to make sense of the altered landscape. A chorus of spring peepers is being tentatively joined by the calls of a few Southern Leopard Frogs. “Spring already?” they inquire.

Muddy water everywhere.

Muddy water everywhere.

I am fortunate in my little corner of southern piedmont. My house sits above this chaotic scene, so I remained safe and dry as raging waters claimed the eastern and southern sides of my five-acre yard. But what a lesson on the power of water.

What follows are a few “during” and “after” shots. I shot the “during” photos from my back deck while holding an umbrella. These were taken about noon yesterday. I took the “after” shots about an hour ago, also from the deck. I attempted to use the same angles as much as I could, so you can clearly see the transformations. Click on the side-by-side photos to see their captions.

A co-worker of Wonder Spouse saw a crayfish scuttling across their office parking lot yesterday. No doubt it was fleeing the rapidly rising waters of a nearby creek. I hope the wildlife that lived in my wetland made it to higher ground in time. Usually after a flood like this, crows and great blue herons patrol the muddy floodplain, devouring any creature unable to dodge the disaster. I can hear the crows talking outside my window as I type this. I suspect they are waiting for the creek to return fully to its channel before they venture onto the mud.

Where do the frogs hide when floods rage?

Where do the frogs hide when floods rage?

I know that I won’t be venturing out there for several days. Right now, the floodplain is quicksand. It will eat your boots and leave you scrambling for a way to pull yourself out. I’ll be waiting for the sun and drier days before I head out for a closer look. A line of thunderstorms is predicted to pass through here later today, and no real promise of full sun for at least a week.

Until then, I’ll watch from my windows as lichens covering branches grow lush, waiting for mud’s domination to recede with the creek waters.

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