Friday, October 10, 2008

Baker Hollow Creek

I had the opportunity to walk down Baker Hollow creek, the creek that runs down the bluff on the west side of US 24 and empties into the field of asters on the proposed mining site. Baker Hollow creek is full of life. We found minnows, leopard frogs, cricket frogs,and a northern water snake. I'm sure many more species are living there than we were able to see. At night there are likely salamanders, but I won't see them, since I am not a night person! More minnows and frogs than we could count fled as we proceeded down the creek in our high-water boots. The creek bottom starts out as solid rock, then begins breaking up into first large pieces, then smaller pieces, and finally and gravel before it disappears into the field. Agricultural canals surround the field, in an attempt over the years to drain field into what is now Morgan Ditch. However, it is apparent that the system has not been successful, and therefore the field was left dormant in most years after the flood waters receded. When we got out towards the end of the creek, we could see the field of asters. It is all brown now, but the asters are still standing. State botanists have censused the population there and at Rice Lake.

Baker Hollow Creek:

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Minnows swimming in one of many deep pools:

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Creek Bottom along the bluff:

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US 24 Bridge over Baker Hollow creek. This bridge was built to with stand a large volume of water back in the 1930s and it is still standing.

-- from jward199 - (?)

Creek bottom east of US 24 bridge:

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The old Prairie Lane bridge.

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Butternut (Juglans cinerea), also called white walnut or oilnut, grows on well-drained soils of hillsides and streambanks in mixed hardwood forests. We found 3 or 4 of these trees with many butternuts scattered along the creek bottom.

-- from jward199 - (?)

The receding flood left the decurrent false asters (Boltonia decurrens) standing, though brown and brittle, in the field where I found them before. Their seeds will scatter, and many will have been carried away with the flood waters, but they will appear again, if the field is not mined.

-- from jward199 - (?)

-- from jward199 - (?)

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We found several huge Sycamore trees growing along Baker Hollow creek.

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A worm, one of several, that we found in the water or banks of Baker Hollow.

-- from jward199 - (?)

This leopard frog and northern water snake were lying on the bottom of the creek in the clear water in one of the deeper areas against the creek bank.

-- from jward199 - (?)

-- from jward199 - (?)

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We found many crawdad holes (Crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads--all the same thing) along the creek banks.

-- from jward199 - (?)

This crawdad hole is fresh! It has a current resident, who did not make an appearance for the camera.

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We found quite a few little frogs, which I think are Cricket frogs.

-- from jward199 - (?)

-- from jward199 - (?)

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And we found several Leopard Frogs:

-- from jward199 - (?)

-- from jward199 - (?)

2 comments:

LindaSueBuhl said...

I'm grateful you name everything in the pictures - now I know what the frogs in my pond are! We have a tiny pond in our garden and have two or three leopard frogs (yeah I know their name!)

Jane said...

Hey, Linda Sue!
I try to name them. I make mistakes sometimes, and I correct them as soon as I find out!