Indian River

This entry is part 122 of 133 in the series 2011 Photojournal

While walking by Indian River this morning, I was interested to see the water still flowing fairly high, but the color of the water was much grayer than I typically expect for flows this high. Most times when there is heavy enough rain to raise levels, the river is brown. I have always heard this is due to tannins that leach into the surface and near-surface waters of the forests and muskegs. That said, now that I think about it, it’s not entirely clear to me why this wouldn’t be going on all the time. Perhaps in periods without heavy rain, there is water with tannins coming in, but it’s a relatively small part of the overall flow, with the bulk of it being from snow melt and ground water. With heavy rainfall, most of the flow is from surface or near-surface runoff which is presumably pretty effective at leaching out the tannins. It would be interesting to know more. At any rate, I assume that currently the relatively high water is due to rainfall in part, but also a fair amount of snow melt. I’m not sure why it was gray, however. In the late spring on warm days, the river level can rise noticeably, but when I’ve seen it at that time, it’s still running clear. I wonder where the sediment was coming from today.

On another note, a hummingbird visited this morning a couple of times. I didn’t get a great look at it, but it seemed like it may have been a female (or young male) Anna’s Hummingbird.

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Southeast Alaska Bats

Still working through a cold and with the end of the semester had plenty course stuff to deal with to keep me busy, but did manage to find time to attend a seminar on bats in Southeast Alaska. Karen Blejwas of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game gave the talk that began with an … Read more

Inversion, Redpolls, and Conversation

Got over to Alice Island briefly before class this afternoon (yesterday, now) and was interested to see what at first appeared to be a layer of clouds hanging around the base of Verstovia, but I later realized it was probably smoke. Calm conditions and clear skies probably resulted in a temperature inversion (where temperatures do … Read more

Sitka Precipitation Records

(follow-up with corrected precipitation totals) Recently Sitka’s precipitation totals have been in the news as part of the on-going issues related to relatively water low levels in Green Lake and Blue Lake, where the vast majority of our electricity comes from in this community. As a result, the electrical department has been utilizing diesel generators, … Read more