A sketch of Lookout Creek, at Watershed 3:
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.
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: