With heavy rain falling overnight and throughout today, I thought it would be interesting to check out different places around town. In addition to all the photos, I also shot a brief video of Indian River from just below the Sawmill Creek Road bridge.
Ice free Indian River January 2012 On our walk to the park last Friday, I noticed that Indian River had essentially no ice in it. Given the extreme (for here) cold we had been feeling for the past several days, I was a bit surprised by this. Iced-over Indian River January 2011 By comparison, last … Read more
Freshwater sponge – the little pointy hair-like things were quite stiff, my first clue that this wasn’t an algae While resources for marine algae in Alaska are pretty good, there doesn’t seem to be much available for freshwater algae. While doing some looking today, I was reminded of something the kids and I found last … Read more
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.