After the early-February snowstorm that shut us down for five days and later rains, the Tualatin River has been on the rise in the refuge (top picture). The river is way up compared to a few months ago.
The feeder creeks have backed way up. They’ve gone from trickles to flooded backwaters. Chicken Creek (above) is the muddy part at the upper part of the picture. It’s usually just three or four feet wide at the bottom of its ravine. The reflective water on the left is usually a slope where visitors can get down near the stream. This post was made from pictures taken at the creek edge 6 months ago.
All this is not alarming because it’s been the natural process of the Willamette Valley for a long, long time. There have been much bigger floods periodically for tens of thousands of years. It has only been since the 1930s that this area was ditched and drained for agriculture. The rich soil of the valley was built from these overflows. But it’s interesting to see the natural process in action.