Friday, February 19, 2010

A Scratch on the Scientific Record

Sometimes I post a photo because it's pretty. Sometimes I post a shot of what's happening in town. This one's educational: illustrative of a natural process that's hard to describe any other way.

After the Station Fire came heavy rains, which brought a flood of muddy ash into the lowlands. The landscape of Hahamongna Watershed Park was completely changed and, for a time at least, we have these crackly (technical term) mud flats. They're still soft. I wouldn't walk on them, though tinier creatures have done so.

We're about to have more rains. Who knows what changes nature will bring this time?

If anyone needs a photographic record of what's been going on at Hahamongna for the last two years, I've got so many pictures it's ridiculous. Just putting that out there, you know, for science.

21 comments:

lewi14 said...

That looks like interesting. It's indescribable how nature manages such disasters. I've respect for such accommodation.

Ibarionex R. Perello said...

This looks way cool. I drive by their all the time and seeing your images really inspires me to make some time to photograph especially after the rain coming up soon. Keep it up.

altadenahiker said...

Bellis and I were walking in the upper arroyo this week (she's very popular, isn't she?), and now that the water has receded, we were completely astonished at the total transformation. Past the ranger station, the trail/road is gone. On the way back, we temporarily lost our bearings, walking in what used to be the riverbed.

Susan C said...

This brings back memories of my grandmother's property in West Virginia. Sometimes marshy areas would form a pond (complete with cattails) and other times the area would look exactly like your photo. My brothers and I would walk on the crackly surface and pretend we were walking on the moon.

Margaret said...

Like Susan, I'm having flashbacks to marshy areas, but mine were in Montana.

Cindy said...

Looks like crazing on old pottery. Very fascinating patterns.

Petrea - I find all your posts about Hahamonga very interesting & inspiring. But I have to sheepishly ask a question (or an information favor?) I've lived in Pasadena for 12 years, and have never been there. I can see where it is on a map, but where the heck do you park & start walking?

Dina said...

That is pretty dramatic and crackly. And very educational.

But I love the little creatures' footprints (and bellyprints?).

So good that you are recording these changes.

Bellis said...

I hope that as many people as possible will photograph this area as it changes over the next few years. The Angeles National Forest supervisor said at a recent meeting that nobody has any idea what will happen next because it's the first time (since the white man came to California?) that four whole river watersheds in the San Gabriel mountains have been denuded all at once.

Petrea said...

Welcome, lewi14 of Stuttgart Daily Photo. I agree; in a way it's a little frightening to see nature change everything we know, but I'm glad she's still in charge.

Ibarionex, I'd love to see what you and your camera do with the place.

Bellis knows all the landmarks and trails. But what you're telling me is astonishing, Karin.

The word "lunar" did come to my mind, Susan, especially with JPL in the background.

Margaret, I didn't know there were marshes in Montana. Montana has everything, nature-wise.

Actually, Cindy, it's a good question. There are several places to park and enter.
Officially, there's a parking lot on N. Windsor Avenue between Montana St. and Ventura St. You can walk in from there.
Unofficially, you can also park at the west end of Altadena Drive and walk down the trail; at the end of that trail you'd go north for the trails the Hiker's talking about, south for the part where I usually go (meaning, across the JPL parking lot).
You can also park at the west end of a residential street called La Canada Verdugo Road. This is where I usually enter. It puts you right at the Devil's Gate Dam. This entrance may not be available to us forever; residents are fine with the likes of you and me who respect their privacy, but a lot of jerks have come along there and been disrespectful.

On the other side of the park, you can parkin in the official parking lot at Oak Grove Drive and the east end of Foothill Blvd. This takes you to Oak Grove Park, which is connected to Hahamongna by trails.

It's all beautiful. I don't get tired of it.

Dina, there are even rock prints. People threw in stones to see the mud-bubbles they'd make.

Bellis, that's a shock to hear. I promised Karin a Big Santa Anita cabin photo tomorrow, but I've got a special photo for you for Sunday.

Bellis said...

I can't wait till Sunday.

Could your neighbor who has a cabin in Millard take a photo of what it looks like down there (if they're still allowed in)?

Cindy said...

Thank you SO much Petrea!! I usually go hiking in the mountains or Joshua tree because I have guidebooks with the trails... clearly Hahamonga is a hidden treasure. Can't wait to experience it myself!

Virginia said...

I feel like I"m being trite when I say how lovely this is. But isn't that we photographers do?
V

pasadenapio said...

Eerie beauty can be found in the devastation of nature. (Not that I'm promoting that.)

Petrea said...

Bellis, I'll ask if he has photos. I don't know what's up with Millard right now.

Hahamongna is our treasure. A lot of people love it, as evidenced by the amount of people who showed up at the City Council meeting regarding the Annex Plan. It's one thing to talk about an issue, it's another thing to go out on a cold Monday night to support it. We love it because it's as close to untamed as it can be and still be in the middle of civilization.

Ann, I know what you mean.

J+P said...

mud pie
mud pie
mud pie tonite

Dina said...

Mud bubbles. Fun to think about that.

TheChieftess said...

Ya know..with all those extra pictures...I'll bet you have a few those pesky news stations might be interested in...I was just watching the morning news and they're asking for photos!!! (I think it was channel 7)

Petrea said...

I haven't gotten photos since last night's rain. Now that the landscape's surely changed once again...

Christina said...

The arroyo has been so fascinating to me this winter. Walking on ground that is several feet higher than it was a few weeks ago doesn't get boring. Nor does seeing how the vortices and currents of raging water leave ridges in the dried mud.

I love the crackles.

Christina said...

Oh, and I am a guilty mud bubble maker.

Petrea said...

You did a good job, Christina. They're little bubbles of land art.