Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Running Water

Yesterday we had no running water. It's funny how for granted we take our modern conveniences. And upsetting how it can be when they don't work. Although our well is less than ten years old we've had several malfunctions. Two years ago the pump died and the shaft and pump had to be pulled at the cost of several thousand dollars. Fortunately, this time, it was "just" a frozen control valve. Whew!
This is all a somewhat roundabout way of getting to the fact that I love the sight and sound of running water. And not just for shaving. Here are some samples from southeastern Minnesota.
The streams almost seem asleep as they run silent and crystal clear through the long winter.
In the spring, the melting snow begins to pour down the hillsides. Naturally, Baron has to investigate.
We had hiked up a long ravine that day looking for early signs of skunk cabbage. Time to take a break by the "falls."
No Baron, the skunk cabbage doesn't grow under water. Big help he is!
Water pours, cold and clear, from deep underground out of a cave entrance to create Forestville Creek, one of my favorite trout streams.
A cave at Big Springs, friend Rick, and the origin of another trout stream, this one named Canfield Creek.
By May and early summer the woods along the streams have turned lush with green. With my new artificial knee I have been able to return to hiking for miles seeking the elusive brown trout. Now though, their is something new as well. Binoculars in hand and dog leading the way, I tramp the same trails looking for birds.
Camping is another favorite activity. Here is Beaver Creek in the State Park near Caledonia.
A newly constructed bridge over Spring Valley Creek. Now finished the bike trail parallels much of the stream. The trail begins about a block from our home.
When the water is high in spring and early summer it's also time for canoeing. Here it's also coffee time as former teaching partner Fran and I lead a flotilla of 8th graders on the annual spring outing.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that running water is not always such a joy. Here the South Branch of the Root River is in flood. Several years after this picture was taken, 17 inches of rain one night lead to the destruction of over 500 homes in the small town of Rushford. The fall season promises the arrival of thousands of waterfowl. Although I no longer hunt with a gun, my camera is always at the ready.
Fall geese along the new bike trail. Mrs T also loves bird photography. Her favorite venue is The Father Of Waters, the mighty Mississippi, where in the fall thousands of tundra swans stop to refresh on their was to Chesapeake Bay,

Running water. The lifeblood of Bluff Country.


  1. Nice post TB! Liked all the photos you took. Baron is a fun hiking companion I think! Would he sound an alarm and go for help if you fell upside down into a ravine?

  2. Oh, spring... you've made me yearn for green. I'll have to look up Beaver Creek, we haven't made it to that park. We are trying to hit all the parks in the state.

    We were without sewer and water for 3.5 months in the winter of 2007, the winter of lack of much snow cover. We were not alone, as many places had no sewer and some facilities had to shut down. Our 50 year old well had the outlet device crack off.

    We learned to shower from one of those shower bags and we had the septic tank pumped every few weeks. It makes one appreciate what is usually easy and taken for granted. I blogged about it a bit at my blog under the label: water.

  3. Water, water everywhere... we have a well also and when the electricity goes out -- so does the water. We keep a few gallons stored for just such days. Glad you made it through! :)

  4. The sound of running water is such a lullaby to me. We have a "rock garden" here in the diningroom, with a fountain in the middle. Love it.

  5. Wonderful post! I love the sound of water as well. And also appreciate the lack of it (as when a pipe nearby burst leaving us high and dry).

  6. Kia ora TB,
    I think the sound of running water is also my favourite of all the music in nature. Sitting by a mountain stream, walking along it, looking for trout or whio. What a way to spend the day.

  7. I think, generally speaking, that humans have a prehistoric attraction to the sound of running water. Back in the cave days, I'm sure it was a sign of survival. We even bought a little fountain so we could have that sound in our house.
    Lovely areas up your way, of course. Today we had great weather for the 1st time in a LONG time. That, too, was refreshing. :)

  8. It must be great having Baron to join you when exploring the beautiful outdoors in Bluff Country. I enjoyed the photos.


  9. Oh man. Good to hear your water is "back on." What a relief!

  10. I feel just like you. When the water in the house stops running, I get a little panicky.

    We have a creek on the farm that runs year round, even in below zero weather. It has many springs very close to the surface which make it like quicksand to wade in.

  11. such beautful pics...water is so calming sometimes.

  12. You must live in the country since you have your own well. Knock on wood..ours has been just fine! Great Photos of Baron..I enjoyed them! We have brown Trout up here in a local stream I believe. Straight River..have you ever fished it? It used to be one of the best in the state..I am not sure if it is anymore. I hope Mrs Troutbirder got a laugh out of the Retirement Communications:) :)

  13. Neat cave. You could catch trout underground! Thanks for sharing the pics of Baron rediscovering the joy of flowing water. Hope he leads you to skunk cabbage (and not to a skunk).

  14. Running water has to be once of the nicest sounds there is.

    Yes, we do take running water, electricity, inside toilets etc for granted. I do not think many people could survive without them or know how to cope otherwise.