MeadowKnoll is soggy, there's quite a lot of flood debris along Pecan Creek, and the only road out was impassable for a day or so, as you can see in this photo taken by our neighbor, Judy Cheney. (That's the road, not a stream.)
But things are getting back to normal here, if you don't count the slime mold that's threatening to engulf everything. And while there was plenty of sturm und drang for a while, there wasn't any serious danger here. We took these frequent flash-flooding events into account when we chose the place to put our house.
Things aren't normal in Marble Falls, though. Not yet. For some photos of the flooding along the Lower Colorado and the damage caused by creek flooding in Marble Falls, go here. Even the long-time residents have never seen anything like it, and no wonder: it's being categorized as a 500-year flood.
If you'll pardon me, I'd like to say that this is one of those times when the questions "What watershed do you live in?" and "Why should this matter?" become more than a little significant. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that these two questions interest me. Here's one post where I've raised the issue; there are others. Understanding the watershed you live in helps you understand your place in the world, what makes it a good place, what makes it (sometimes) a challenge. Unfortunately, we usually don't become aware of watershed until something unpleasant happens upstream: 20" of rain overnight; a chemical spill; a break in a sewer line; the destruction of trees and other ground cover that causes streams to silt up. There's more about the importance of watershed here and here. I'd love it if some of this would make you curious enough to find out something about the watershed you live in--maybe map it out (Google will be glad to help), take a drive with the kids to the creeks and rivers and lakes in the system, talk about why you love it and what you need to be on the lookout for.
Now I'll climb down from my soapbox. Took a day off from writing today (close to 60k words on Briar Bank) to do some shopping, pull some weeds, make some felt, do some knitting and reading: Gretchen Legler's On the Ice, a memoir of her visit to McMurdo Station in Antarctica, which just won the annual book award given by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. It's a beautiful book. Read it.
And speaking of awards, Linda Lear's biography, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature was just named the Lakeland Book of the Year for 2007. It's the first time this Cumbrian literary award has been won by an American writer (if you think it's easy to impress those Brits, think again). Congratulations, Linda! A Life in Nature is also a beautiful book, but since I've been writing about it for months, I'm sure you have already read it. If not, there's a treat in store for you.
Reading note. This is Legler's description of walking across McMurdo, in a chapter subtitled "Bending Into the Wind."
The wind was so strong we could let ourselves fall into it with all our weight and were held upright by the strength of it. We curved ourselves into the wind, taking one clumbsy step at a time. It was enough to make you cry, or laugh, or both--at the futility, the naivete, the arrogance of those old explorers' efforts, but also at the human spirit--all that struggling with forces over which you had no control, trudging forward with some fantastic goal in your heart.