Lookout Creek at Watershed 3

A sketch of Lookout Creek, at Watershed 3:

Lookout Creek Study #2

I sat at the edge of the road, high above Lookout Creek, where the roadway/stream-slope are reinforced with rock, and the water is funneled through a culvert, under the road.  This is the Watershed 3 Gauging Station (measuring water/sediment etc. coming out of the WS3 drainage area).  WS3 was clear-cut in the 1960s, just prior to the 1964 flood.  This section suffered a lot of damage again in the flood of 1996.  Note that the brown/ocher mosses on the “gentle banks” surrounding the water are actually growing on cement, used to “reinforce” the soil around this erosion-prone location.  The horsetails are growing from moist soil at the edge of the cement.
Watershed 3Watershed 3: botanical detail

Note:  someone on Flickr just asked about the plant in the right-hand photo.  My amateur understanding was that it was “horsetail” (aka snakegrass in the Midwest). I’ve always liked it because it is considered a “living fossil” —- really ancient, and frequently depicted in illustrations of dinosaurs.  I though that was terrific, when I was a kid:  seeing a recognizable plant drawn next to a fantabulous dinosaur.

Looking it up, I believe the local name is “Braun’s Scouring-Rush” (Equisetum laevigatum). This is an annual member of the horsetail family found in Oregon, partial to disturbed ground and ditches, and notable for the prominent “spore-producing cone” on the tip. Here’s the link for more information about this ancient plant:

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/pnw/pnw105/#anchor209164

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