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The Backyard Science group regularly features The Daily Bucket. Daily Buckets are a place for all Daily Kos participants to comment on the natural mysteries unfolding in our own backyards and favorite places.  Weird weather, ecstatic birds, darting moths, lurking spiders, sinuous trees under a full moon, a budding garden,  and everything else are appropriate topics for comments.

Please provide a comment about your own area, whether it is your backyard or a favorite spot. Include, as close as you are comfortable, your general location. If you have pretty pictures, please post those. There are folks here who'd like to see them.

The cruelly handsome driver downshifted and wrestled the sleek sports car into the hairpin curve that hugged the volcanic ridge. Pocketa-Pocketa ticked the overhead cam engine. I'll find the headwaters of Roche Crique or know the reason why, the driver thought. Continue reading past the orange La Mans track for the action-packed conclusion.

DISCLAIMERS: I am not cruelly handsome.  The sports car is 37 years old, but it does have a stick shift and overhead cam engine.  Pocketa-pocketa is homage to James Thurber's great short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, because I am far closer to Walter Mitty than James Bond, and more respectful of women.

 Yesterday I actually drove up the side of an ancient volcano, but it's only 700 feet high. And "Roche Crique" is actually Rock Creek, I frenched it up to sound more exotic.  I am looking in the Tualatin Mountains for the headwaters of Rock Creek, which flows about a mile from my home in Northwest Oregon.

I diaried about Rock Creek a couple of weeks ago, when it vigorously flooded near my neighborhood, at about 200 feet above sea level. Here is a map of how Rock Creek (and other creeks) flow south and downhill from the Tualatins, a cinder coned spur of the coast range, running roughly east-west. Rock Creek originates in the upper left hand corner of this map.

I've been staring at that map ever since, wondering where the mountains yielded the groundwater that births Rock Creek. At about the 100 MASL (meters above sea level), I crossed Rock Creek near where the red numeral 1 is on that map.  The creek was energetic, but muddy.  All pictures are lightboxed, so you can click on them for greater clarity.

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I kept driving uphill to the west and north, past Germantown Road and Cornelius Pass Road, into the upper left hand corner of this map. The roads got narrower and potholed.  Little waterfalls and unnamed tributaries rushed down the steep hillsides, feeding Rock Creek.  There's no snow cap up there, it's purely groundwater flows. Here's one flow feeding Rock Creek:

I was a little worried I'd bust an axle on this back road, so I didn't follow it to the end.  But I was well along the way to Rock Creek's headwaters, probably close to one of the marked tributaries in the map's upper left hand corner, and about 200 MASL.  It's hippie country back there.
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At this point, I was near the top of the volcano, which looks a lot different from the blackened cinder cones surrounding Phoenix, at which I stared all last week.

Yet almost everywhere you go in Oregon, you find evidence of the 150 years of intensive logging history. Even here, 250 MASL, on a volcanic ridge, there is the industrial evidence that busy and profitable lumber mills, and the freight trains that served the mills. operated for decades.

Now it's your turn.



"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!

After a hiatus of over 1 1/2 years, Meteor Blades has revived his excellent series.  As MB explained, this weekly diary is a "round-up with excerpts and links... of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters of environmental concern to the community... I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning."

"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page.  Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.

1:51 PM PT: 1:49 PST

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