Friday, October 28, 2016

Long walks and flood control

We've had a lot of rain these past few weeks and when today dawned rainfree, as predicted, I couldn't wait to get out there and walk.

I've walked in the rain more than once -- including yesterday, the day before, and a day last week -- and don't mind doing so. But lack of rain makes it much more fun, to be sure.

So armed with a walk that was longer and faster than I'm used to a couple of days ago with a new friend in this building, I decided to try the even longer route I've been contemplating.

This one took 1 hr 45 mins, according to my watch. Granted, that included maybe 5 minutes in the market waiting for a bathroom to open up, and maybe 15 minutes browsing around Goodwill in an effort to get a bit of rest before heading out on another 30 minute leg of the walk.

I was tired, certainly felt it, but it also felt really good.

I love photos that make you take a second look, wonder what it is. The above photo kind of does that. Just an uplook at some clouds above a wooded walkway.

The river is really full and flowing, which is always good to see, but certainly a very long way from reaching flood stage. Last flood stage here was in 1964, according to city website, so it's not something we really worry about. There are too many places for it to go both here and beyond the city where it can really spread out.

Nevertheless, yesterday when I was walking along the river and the Delta Ponds in the rain, I noticed the higher level in the river as well as the higher level in the Ponds, and my mind wandered off into what a great absorber these ponds are for river overflow right in town. Then I thought of the few things I actually knew: There are a couple of re-opened spots that connect the river with the ponds, and the ponds are connected by huge culverts under the river path as well as the road. That was about the extent of my knowledge, but it was clearly enough to help these 150 acres of ponds take a good bit of overflow.

Now, if you know me at all, you know  I couldn't leave it at that. So I dug into the City website on the area and found a wealth of information, including this map. Unfortunately, since it was a PDF and Blogger won't import those, I had to go the route of print screen and Paint to come up with this, which is blurry as a result.

In the fine print, though, it shows every thing that's been done and proposed, all the culverts and excavated channel and tons more information. I was happy to read that none of this existed when I lived in this neighborhood before, as the city didn't begin improvements until 2005, which was the year I moved to this neighborhood. Happy because I sure didn't remember any of the improvements that now exist.

If  you're interested in this kind of thing, I refer you to the city's webpage on the project which has lots of information on the history of the entire site.

Originally part of the river floodplain, converted to gravel pits in the 50s & 60s, abandoned, eventually bought by the city, now restored to much of its original nature but improved.

In other news, such as it is, I just went out to add some kitchen scraps to my in-ground composting and found that my newer hole was fuller than I'd thought, somehow. So I checked the other hole and was shocked to see that all that was left other than dirt was a few shreds of the corrugated cardboard I'd put on top just 2-3 weeks ago, and a few eggshell scraps, all the way down to the old clay at the bottom! I knew the worms, insects and microbes would make short work of it, but I sure never expected it would happen this fast. So the new stuff went into the old hole. Somehow, in ways I could never explain to people out there reading this, it's really very gratifying to see this happening.

I need to go sit in the sunshine, I think, because I sure don't have energy to do any more walking today.

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