You can learn more about this 20 min. a Day Exercise, and why I think the experience can provide interesting opportunities for Writing Prompts, in the Introductory Post, and then follow the link, at the end of each post, to the next chapter.
Question #5: What is the level of the Water Table in your area?
Quote to Ponder:
The silence of nature is very real. It surrounds you...you can feel it.
There are lots of tables along the Santiago Creek Bike Trail, and in Hart Park, as well, and most of them were covered in water after our most recent rain, but somehow I didn't think that was what the question was about. ;-D
I called a Ca. office of the USGS, and got a message saying the guy I needed to talk to would not be back until Monday.
I called the National number, and got a guy who didn't know the answer, either, but took my phone number so he could try to find out...that was 5 hours ago. ;-D
Another search around the USGS Website finally led me to some interesting stats, and graphs, that will probably come as close to answering the question as I will get. ;-D
Records began being kept as eary as 1928.
The flow had been regulated since December 1931 by Santiago Reservoir, capacity, 25,000 acre-ft., and since January 1963 by Villa Park Flood-Control Reservoir, capacity, 15,500 acre-ft, and is affected by intervening gravel pits.
The area of my Sit Spot is 110 ft. above Sea Level, and the normal water level for what the records call the "Gage Height" is 7.58.ft., and has never been more than 15 ft.
On the rainy 12th the record shows that the Gage Height varied from 8.2 to 9.7ft., and Water Discharge varied from 48 to 310 cubic ft. per second.
When I arrived at my Sit Spot, at 9am, there was an elderly white guy sitting on the bench, enjoying the sights, and sounds, while eating a bowl of fruit.
I decided to leave him to his breakfast, and come back later. ;-D
I took a couple of photos of the now waterless creekbed where it heads west through a parking lot on the north side of Hart Park, then went to the post ofice to mail off my tax forms, and then find breakfast.
I came back at 1130am, and had the place to myself once again. ;-D
My research showed that Ted Trueblood was an outdoor author, journalist, and conservationist, and that from 1941, until his tragic death in 1982, he was an editor and writer for Field & Stream magazine, and played an important role in conservation efforts in his native Idaho.
He was also known as "The Dean of Outdoor Writers" who had "the ability to attract readers from the entire country to explore the natural resources and physical challenges of the West".
I've been sitting here for several days now, and it sure as hell hasn't been quiet the whole time. ;-D
If it was not the birds, an occasional barking Dog, users of the nearby paved trail, or dirt trails in the creek, or the grating sound of a nearby buzz saw, it was the dis-embodied laughter of a woman who just as easily could have been a figment of my imagination since I never even saw her. ;-D
The more I think about it, though, I think I understand what he was getting at....
There HAVE been moments when the only sounds I heard were those of natures creatures, and even nothing at all.....
Those moments occurred on the few hikes I've gone on, and on my bike rides around the Newport Backbay, the Orange County Mountains to the Sea Trail, the Santa Ana, San Gabriel, and Los Angeles River Trails, and on the roads of the San Gabriel, and Santa Monica Mountains, through the years, where I was alone, no sign of the modern world, not a car, or person, in sight for miles, and the silence of the natural world utterly engulfed me.
In those situations the silence is not always one without the sound of birds, and other wild animals, but still a silence none the less.
What makes it silent to one like me, born, and raised, in an urban environment, is what is missing amid all the sounds of the natural world.
The first times I REALLY experienced this silence was when I rode my bike in the San Gabriel Mountains, years ago.
Yes, there were passing cars, and motorcycles, even a cyclist, or 2, from time to time, but they went by so quickly, and disappeared from view.
Up there you are alone with your thoughts, and the natural environment, for most of your journey, and the views were often jaw-droppingly spectacular.
One such trip, up to Mount Baldy Village, and then westward along Glendora Ridge Rd. to Highway 39, and down to Azusa, was a 44 mile ride that I will never forget.
Unlike in the portion of the Santa Monicas where I've biked there were no pockets of housing every few miles to remind you that civilization was not all that far away.
It was an intimidating experience that was also, by the end of it, quite exhilirating, and life affirming, made all the more so by when it occurred...a few weeks AFTER the horrible events of 9/11 ( I blogged about my experience, on my bike blog, in 2003 ).