April 7, 9 am.

We have had 6.5 inches of rain and I want to get out to the valley and see what it looks like. First, I go to the area called the W4 fields. It is where Mill creek crosses through the mitigation lands and where it overflows its banks, creating a fantastic wetland area.

It is a good idea for me to have worn my rubber boots because I have to cross through some of the overflows just to get to the gate. As I look out, it looks like a vast lake of water all the way out across the entire valley. The dry area where I walked last week is completely gone, the road is a running river of water. Everywhere are ducks, swimming in all directions. But it’s the Ash trees standing in the water, that gets my attention. It is amazing how they have adapted for this cycle of inundation and then the summer dryness. It seems otherworldly standing out here looking at all that water!

The loud sound of Redwing blackbirds singing brings me back from my reverie. The males are showing off their bright red shoulder “pads” and even though I know it is not for my benefit, I am impressed! It is time for me to move on and see how the other areas in the valley have been changed.

It is hard to believe how the valley has been transformed!