A blog about a first-time house owner learning to maintain his backyard, and thoughts about nature, science, history, and life.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Drifting Away

When I strolled down to the dock yesterday, I noticed something stuck against the edge of the dock, and my curiosity persuaded me to reach down and pick it up.  It was a small piece of driftwood, completely stripped of its bark.  I plopped it back in the water and took a picture of it, which you can see above.  Then, curiosity goaded me into taking a series of picture to see where the creek took it.

It started to drift past the dock, and at the same time, the piece of wood started to slowly rotate.

It was pushed toward the near bank, slowly rotating all the while.

I had to take pictures every 30 seconds or so to capture the rotation.  Even though the creek was running relatively high, it wasn't running all that fast...faster than normal, but no faster than I can walk.

Though the wood was approaching the bank, it didn't appear to be in any danger of being "beached".

Its course followed the line of the bank, maybe 3 feet or so from the bank's edge.  All the while, the stick continued to rotate.

In the above picture, it almost seems to get lost amid the branches from the tree in the foreground.

As the bank curved near the tree that bends over the creek, the piece of wood was guided calmly along the bend.

By this time, it was pretty clear that the wood's journey would be a short one today.  As it passed over the reflection of the tree, it became obvious that it was headed straight for a patch of what appeared to be brush growing right in the creek.  I could see other small pieces of driftwood that had been caught, soon to be joined by another.

I had to add a little circle to this picture to show you my piece of wood barreling straight for the "brush".

And finally, the wood has blended right in with the other trapped detritus.  I guess it will have to wait and see if the plants die off this winter, unless we happen to get a vigorous rainstorm that gets the creek moving enough to set it free.  Altogether, this took maybe five minutes to happen.

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