Little Waumandee Creek runs through our land. It’s a narrow creek, surrounded by a large wetland. It’s fed by numerous springs, so it stays open all year.
10/11/2004 This is a view of part of the creek from Sumac Prairie
5/6/2005 An old photo of the edges of the creek north of the driveway culvert. We’re not sure why they were so bare – it may be that we’d just removed a long-standing beaver dam. The banks of the creek are much more overgrown now.
A couple of views of the creek from the drone
5/21/2013 One of the springs that feeds into the creek – with Marsh Marigolds and sedges
8/8/2009 The springs find their way into the creek through deep, narrow channels.
The creek floods during the spring snow melt, and sometimes after a heavy storm.
4/4/2013 This flood is caused by melting snow.
We’ve had two flash floods caused by big summer storms.
This one was in 2010.
8/13/2010 The creek swept away part of our driveway, made several new channels, and was at least four times as wide as usual for several hours.
8/13/2010 View of the flood from above
We had another, even bigger, flood in 2016. About half the valley was under water.
8/11/2016 The aftermath of the flood – our washed out driveway.
There are beavers living here, and we usually have at least one dam somewhere along our stretch of the creek. We had one just north of the culvert that goes under our driveway for a several years.
In 2017 the beavers reinforced and enlarged the dam so that it created a large lake behind it.
4/15/2017 Beaver Lake
4/14/2017 And they built a lodge in the lake.
We loved the lake – we saw lots of wildlife there including ducks, beavers, and muskrats.
4/8/2017 Beaver in Beaver Lake
But the lake threatened our driveway. Every time it rained, the water would spill over the driveway and wash the gravel away. So we took out the dam, and now the beavers have moved their operations to another spot along the creek.
Farther south from our driveway is a bend in the creek lined by old willow trees. We call it Willow Bend. The banks are mostly covered with invasives – Reed Canary Grass and Wild Parsnip – but there are usually a few small beaver dams here, places where the creek runs over rocks, and others where it collects in quiet pools.
8/13/2006 Willow Bend – a pool behind a beaver dam
7/2/2017 Willow Bend – a small rapids
Our goal for the creek – as for the rest of our property – is to restore native habitat with as much diversity as possible. We’re working to retain and enhance the native vegetation along the creek banks, and remove the invasives.
One of the most fun parts of having a creek is seeing the animals that use it. In addition to beavers we’ve seen minks, muskrats, raccoons, river otters, bobcats, bears, and deer, as well as several species of ducks, herons, eagles, kingfishers, and songbirds.
A few years ago we put up a trail camera aimed at one of the beaver dams in the creek. Here are the best of the photos we’ve gotten.
Click on a photo to see a larger version.