Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 9th, 2016

Onion Creek has been a killer creek

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Overturned Tree on Onion Creek 2619

Onion Creek in south Austin, which you saw wind-whipped last time, has a history of flash floods that have knocked down large trees, ruined houses, washed away bridges, and unfortunately also drowned people. Here you see the first of those kinds of devastation as I photographed it on January 21 in McKinney Falls State Park. I don’t know when water raging down the creek felled this tree, but there was a devastating flood on Halloween in 2013, and two more floods in 2015.

Notice in the first photograph that a few man-made objects carried by the creek got caught on what became the uppermost parts of the overturned tree’s base. Nevertheless, the straight object that rises the highest and looks like it could be the leg of an upturned chair is natural. Notice also the bald cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) on the far side of the creek at the left. I can’t identify the fallen tree, but below is a closer look at its revealed roots. Even though it’s a different photograph, not just an enlargement of part of the first picture, I think you can match up the tangled roots in the two images without much trouble. It may not be so easy in the photograph above for your imagination to match up the placid, shallow (on the left), even dry (on the right) Onion Creek with the Shiva Creek that it has repeatedly become.

Roots of Upturned Tree 2613

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 9, 2016 at 5:02 AM

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