It's day one of my 9-day vacation, and after doing some laundry this morning I decided that, despite the heat and humidity, I needed to take at least a short walk. So I popped over to the Brookside Ave. wetland, which feeds Burd Run midway through its path from South Mountain to Middle Spring Creek. And I discovered that this very dry Summer has had quite an effect on the wetland.
Despite the prevailing humidity, there really hasn't been any useful, soaking rain since May. There have been pop-up showers and thunderstorms created by the effect of Summer heat and sunshine on humid air, but those only dump their load and disappear, and the rain they dump is gone almost as soon as it falls. It can create some flash flooding, but that quickly runs off into the local creeks and flows away to the Susquehanna River. What's needed is a good day or two (or three or four) of soaking rain. But we haven't had that since Spring.
So when I arrived at the wetland I found that despite the green and the flowers the water level in the collection pond and in Burd Run itself are very, very low. In fact, the pond is almost completely dry, with only a few of the deeper parts still holding any water, and most of them are greening up with algae. And no ducks or geese or herons; there are plenty of regular birds (the Red-winged Blackbirds and the House Wrens were complaining at me the whole time I was there), but the only waterfowl or marsh birds that were there were a crowd of Killdeer on the dried flats of the pond and in the adjacent farm fields. It's dry, folks! We definitely need a good rain!
|The collection pond is very, very dry!|
|Cattails and flowers in the wetland|
|At one point the path around the pond is overrun by flowers|
|The water level is way down in Burd Run, too|
|Daisy Fleabane in the wetland|
|A Common Wood Nymph butterfly among the Spotted Knapweed blooms|
|Another look at how dry the collection pond is|
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger