Enough About the Creek, Already!

So says my disgruntled Editing Cat, Bud. But Budster, I’ve gone back and worked out a geography of highlights in the 2015 autumn pictures. Phsssst! (That’s what he’s thinking.)

Watery theater of wonders

Watery theater of wonders

Starring details of prior posts are seen within, or close by, this creekside view. Just right of center you see a branch midstream, holding trapped leaves, water sloshing over them; Detail #1. I snapped away at these mad colors and currents. I thought the branch had drifted there during prior high water events, but when this closer scrutiny revealed so many downed branches in the vicinity, I felt that maybe a small tree fell near the creek. You see a long pole up on the shore, resting beside the base of the tree that splits into two trunks and always casts the large, provocative shadows on the water. The oblique shadow of the fallen trunk or branch, which wasn’t there in 2014, extends to the left of the picture. Those shadows and surrounding water wrinkles are Detail #2, which I snapped and cropped extensively. Detail # 3 is along a slightly curving line from Detail #1 towards the right, somewhere within the leaf thatch over the stony proximal bank. There was a spot where the sun glared ferociously off ripples and nearby trapped leaves. The water was low this year, so I was able to walk out on the semi-moist rocks amidst the leaves, and reel in the glitter. To the left, outside the frame of this picture, not far away there was a leaf clump including bright reds against the bank, Detail # 4; which includes riffles set beautifully aglow in the slanting afternoon sun.

This small area provided four locations of high interest, along with other scenes I chose for 2015’s first fall creek post, here:


Nice leaf catch!

Nice leaf catch!

Detail # 1, a mid-range view of the very fine underwater leaf patch, appeared in the “Heartbreak 1” link.

Afternoon glimmer

Afternoon glimmer

Closer view of Detail #1 and Detail #2 above shows how close they really are.

Closing in on the unknown

Zooming in on the unknown

Detail # 2, Just what’s in this creek, anyway? Characters seem to be immersed in the shallows, maybe creeping from under the far bank? Formerly landscapes, now ripe for pictorial invention … the stuff of animated legends about the woods … a mental leap almost like my old mixed media process, in which I used to put down color and then find the figures there, coax them out. Shown in this link:


Except here I have less control … Whoa:

Weird emergence

Weird emergence

Come closer

Come closer

A few steps back ...

A few steps back …

Whew! It’s only the combination of rocky creekbed with shadows, changing as light slants through water …

Detail # 3, not shown in this post, is in both the “Heartbreak 1” link above, and in “Creek Walks” at this link:


Detail #4, also not shown in this post, is heavily featured in “Creek Walks”.

So we’ve mapped our loci of distinction for Fall 2015. I couldn’t have identified these with precision before I went back and studied the long shots. When shooting pictures, I work fast. I’ve got a limited amount of stamina, a short time I can stand up, and walk. I pay no attention to where I am, except to sort what’s beneath my feet, either land (we’re cool) or water (oops we’ve splashed in). I have a tremor and if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to keep still enough for the second it takes the camera to grab a shot.

But wait, here comes …  Here’s the creek after only one of the big rains we’ve had since October, taken December 28, 2015. Wash, rinse, repeat, reset. Enough of my fall highlight chart, already! So much for my handy guide:

High water

High water December 28, 2015

On February 6, 2016:

Relatively calm waters

Calmer waters but more flow than October

All leaves are gone, along with the downed limb that held the bright bouquet. The water is down from gully-washing level, but up higher than it was in October. The big pole by the tree, with the slanting shadow, is still there. The mischievous shadow cast by the tree is still dancin’ …

In a small area of creek and banks, every cubic foot was packed with tantalizing visual treats. What else could I have snapped if I’d walked further downstream? What if I could scramble down embankments like I used to? Further on, the bank rises above the creek and you can’t get really close for a time unless you can slide and step down the steep slope. I’ve never even been across the the creek in the location I’m photographing, to check out the view from the other side. What further adventures are out there!? Imagine the treasures on any of Earth’s zillion creeks!

Natural free-flowing creeks keep us in photo ops and mood boosts. Humans will also like the clean water we’ll be able to keep on using if we turn our attention towards preservation. Here’s my environmental essay about that:


Phsssst. I’m waiting, I’m watching:

Bud, large and opinionated Editing Cat

Bud, large and opinionated Editing Cat

I thank the editor for his forbearance while I’ve gone on about the creek! He’ll be purring when we get back to feline topics. Just don’t tell him he won’t be the only cat in the posts!

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Art, Cats, Creeks, Nature, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Enough About the Creek, Already!

  1. Joyful2bee says:

    What a wonderfully creative mind and eye you have!! I loved the beauty you saw and shared with us!! Thank you!!

  2. I just started blogging last week, and it is a pleasure that I came across your blog.
    It has inspired me to start my second article.
    Thank you:)

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for visiting, I’m happy you enjoyed my posts, and felt inspired to write more on your own website. Best wishes and have fun doing it!

  3. elmdriveimages says:

    Thank you for the, like, on my, Early Mornimg Light, at Elm Drive Images.

  4. elmdriveimages says:

    Thanks for the, like, on my, Another Fiery Western Sky.

  5. Judy says:

    Yeah, I think those around me are going Enough about Big Cypress Swamp already!! What can you do? If you love it, you want to share it!!

    • Catwoods says:

      LOL Judy! I love that you keep going back and posting the wonders of Big Cypress Swamp! I always enjoy it as seen through your viewpoint. Natural spaces are so packed with scenic moments.

      • Judy says:

        It is true they are. Even when no one is home that you an see, there is always color and texture….like your Monet-esque leaves floating in the water!

  6. niasunset says:

    Thank you, you are so nice and I love your blog and photography, with my love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Nia! Although I can’t comment to tell you very often, I love your photos and your descriptions, and I enjoy them every day. Love going out to you in return, Leah

  7. nwolitzer says:

    Thanks so much for liking my Animal Portrait page on my blog. Your photographs are beautiful—painterly.

    • Catwoods says:

      My pleasure viewing your Animal Portrait and other works on your blog! I’m really enjoying your scratchboard works. Thank you for your kind words about my photos, I’m glad you liked them.

  8. RMW says:

    Nobody waits as elegantly as a cat!

  9. I saw your comment on another post and since we are the Cats of Wildcat Woods found it interesting how you came to call your blog Catwoods. I have a clowder of rescued ferals that live with us indoors and we live on 8 acres of woods. Years ago, a friend of mine asked what I was going to call my new home so because of the feral cats and the woods I came up with Wildcat Woods. Nice to meet you Catwoods!

    • Catwoods says:

      A pleasure to meet you also! I love the way you named your home … cat-themed names are the always the best! I enjoyed looking around your website. Kudos for taking care of ferals. Many, though not all, of our cats have been ferals and some of those became much tamer. Our cats all live inside, too, they are so much safer that way.

  10. I love how you see so much detail in a small area, and your word choices bring out the things that you see that others might overlook. I love your phrase “tantalizing visual treats!”

  11. joey says:

    I don’t get sick of this creek. I love all the colors and the play of the light.
    Of course, I enjoy reading the thoughts of cats, but I really do love the photos you’ve shared.
    I can remember being young and when adults would talk about the creek being high or low, I’d roll my eyes and think, “Who gives a crap what the creek does?” Now, my husband and I talk about the creek. Sometimes we call our parents and talk about the creek. I bet our kids are thinking, “Who gives a crap about the creek?” LOL

    • Catwoods says:

      I’m happy you enjoyed the creek pictures, Joey! Your discussion of various reactions to the creek is so interesting and funny, and has caused me to look back and think. I was an urban and then a suburban kid who was always thrilled to be able to go anywhere near a creek, but I was pretty much alone in that! I was a weird kid, LOL. I’m now in the midst of a small number of people who are creek advocates and like to photograph and paint creek scenes. But never having had kids myself, I haven’t experienced what coming generations think are fun. I’m betting you are right, creek excursions aren’t so popular with them. They have plenty of time for those discoveries to take place, though.

      • joey says:

        They do and they shall.
        The colors and light, at least in your photographs, are so enchanting. Makes me wanna photograph ours. Maybe this summer.

        • Catwoods says:

          Thank you, I’m happy to know the light and color here is appreciated! I’d love to see pictures of your creek, so I hope you do photograph it! I’m not sure how many times we can make it back there this spring before mosquitoes clog the air, poison ivy crowds the path, and snakes make an occasional appearance. So we usually don’t get many summer creek pics. Ticks have started already this year!

  12. betunada says:

    (mis gatos contribute nada, pero …) ah, the seasons of the creek — good therapy for those of us STUCK INDOORS to imagine being there. i can almost smell it !

    • Catwoods says:

      Well, as skilled as feline editors are, they always want to run the show! I’m happy you enjoyed the outdoor post! The air is very fresh out there.

  13. Wondering whether you ever see any mammals in that water, like beavers or fisher cats? Been reading about the former’s role in creating healthy ecosystems. Creeks/streams/brooks are very interesting places and tell us a lot about the overall health of an area’s larger environment. Thx for sharing all these details!!!

    • Catwoods says:

      Lori, for many years we’ve seen signs of beavers, like marks on tree, trees gnawed down, and dams, but have never actually seen them. It’s possible the growing coyote population has had an impact on them. We’ve never seen a fisher cats here. I think out little part of the watershed is doing OK now, but all around us we’ve had creeks impacted by industries that have needed to be restored. So I live in dread of what happens upstream. As someone I can’t recall right now once said, “Everyone lives downstream.” Glad you enjoyed the post!

  14. claire says:

    Sorry Bud, how could there ever be too many of these beautiful water pictures!

    • Catwoods says:

      I’m happy you like the pictures, Claire. Bud’s been a little grumpy, but he’ll cool off eventually! Sorry to take awhile getting to comments today, I had to be away from the computer due to yesterday’s weather watches.

  15. Claudia says:

    The first Creek pic is so deep and colorful. Magnifique!

  16. Lauren says:

    Bud certainly has a lovely environment for his work. . .I’m so glad you can enjoy it together.

  17. elmdriveimages says:

    Nice series! I particularly like number four. The black water. I have an image on my site at
    http://1-dan-de-ment.pixels.com entitled, Sunny Black Water. Take a look at t!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much! I did look at your page and you have lovely images there! I checked out the Sunny Black Water, which I like very much; great capture! I’m also fascinated by the black squirrel, I have never seen one as there are only gray squirrels where I live.

  18. cdog5 says:

    Hi, Leah! Love this post, photography. Reading your words and seeing your pictures always makes me feel as though I’m out enjoying nature with a seasoned expert at my side. And of course we mustn’t forget about Bud, an expert as well. 🙂 Say, just wanted to tell you that I’m going to be out of blogging for a while. I’m trying to get some fiction finished and I need to put all my concentration toward it. Once that’s done I’d like to get back to blogging, probably not daily but once in a while. Please keep in touch (you know my email, right?) — and let me know how your book is coming, or when you get it finished. Deb

    • Catwoods says:

      Deb, thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I’ve really missed your posts, but I understand being immersed in writing. I look forward to your future posts, whenever you have the time! I’d also like to know when you get something finished and/or published. I do have your email address, and will try to write you sometime, although I’m not a very good correspondent right now. I feel like I let people down that way! But I have thought of you and am happy to hear from today. My progress with all the nitty details of getting a book out is slow. There are so many non-book related items on the to-do list also! I lose a lot of time to severe weather alerts, we have one coming up tomorrow, again. They are so much more frequent now, eeerrrgghh. Leah

  19. Monet did such wonderful work, observing the same small area many times in different light and weather conditions. Nature provides us with so much

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