rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Rain and Frogs and Flumes and Stuff

Yesterday's rain ended about the time I woke up, and I was treated to one of those mostly-cloudy afternoons when the sun occasionally emerges from behind its vaporous drapes like a star coming on stage for a curtain call. Drops of water still clung to the leaf-buds of many trees, and glittered brightly whenever a shaft of sunlight would fall on them. A flock of small birds alighted on the peach tree alongside my driveway and proceeded to strip it of aphids, or whatever small creatures were crawling on its bare branches. When the birds landed, they would shake the twigs and send beads of moisture falling through the light. Nearby, my cat watched the birds with some irritation, knowing that these undoubtedly tasty morsels are too agile to be caught.

With evening, the moon made its appearance amid the clouds and, for a while, illuminated an evening mist which wafted among the pine trees, accumulating in sufficient quantities to fill the night with the sound of drips falling to the damp earth. Somewhere to the north, a chorus of frogs kept up their song, hour after hour. If I go outdoors, I can hear them still. There is something cheerful in the sound of a large group of frogs. I'll bet there are many frogs around the banks of Concow Reservoir now. I'd like to make a late trip down there some night to listen to them.

What is Concow Reservoir, you say?

Concow Reservoir
Late Afternoon at Concow Reservoir

During the gold rush era, miners began building flumes to bring a reliable water supply to those of the diggings which were not adjacent to natural water courses. Flumes are wooden aqueducts which,kept in repair, can last a surprisingly long time (There are some historical photographs of flumes available from the Merriam Library at California State University, Chico.) Today, most of the surviving flumes belong to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which uses the water they carry to generate small amounts of power, and sells the water for irrigation. One of these flumes runs along the cliffs above the west branch of the north fork of the Feather River, about three quarters of a mile east of my house. This particular flume debauches into Concow Reservoir.

I've never seen the flume myself, in spite of its proximity. It is difficcult to reach, but some sure-footed and adventurous folk are fond of hiking along it. I believe there is a small wooden pathway along one side of it which is used by the inspectors and repair crews. In any case, the company is not pleased with these hikers, and runs them off if they are caught. They do, however, permit visitors at the reservoir. I took this picture the only time I have ever gone there, which was on the same day a few months ago when I made the fog pictures I recently posted.

It was late afternoon when I was there, and the small lake was in the shadow of the hills to its west. This made for excellent reflections, though the fact that the fog was in the valley that day meant that there were no clouds above the mountains. I hope to return to the lake one day this spring when there are clouds, as that will make the reflections much more interesting, and the sky much less monotonous. There is a second picture of the lake from that same day, which I might post later. It shows more of the eastern shore (this picture looks slightly east of north) which is a bit marshy, and filled with reeds. That's where I suspect there are frogs who must now be singing. They must be far more numerous than the small group I have been listening to tonight. I've always wanted to hear a lot of frogs making noise at once. Maybe I'll get the chance. For now, I'll make do with the frogs I've got.

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