Thursday, March 3, 2011

What happens to a leaf when it falls into a stream?

Remember last fall when the leaves were falling? 
  Many of those leaves fell into the streams.

What has happened to those leaves since then?

Fall leaf packs in the north fork of the Tangascootac
First, the soggy, sunken leaves were caught in clumps among the rocks and branches . 
  With leaves laying everywhere, those leaf packs seem insignificant, but they are an important part of the thoroughly fascinating underwater world of a stream.   I'll use my waterproof camera as a window into that world as we consider what happens to fallen leaves.

A few weeks ago, as I was walking along the ice bound Tangascootac, I encountered a hole the ice.

I thought, "what"s happening under the ice?"  Brrrrr.  Look with me if you dare. 
(I'm sold on having a waterproof Pentax Optio W90 in my pocket.)

Hey! leaf packs!

and more leaf packs, among the algae covered boulders. 
 That picture almost makes me wish I were a fish to better explore that surreal world under the scalloped ice roof.

Oh, look! something has been happening to the leaf packs.
See: What happens to a leaf when it falls into a stream? Part II
More to explore:

  • There is a whole new world to explore under the water's surface. A waterproof  Pentax Optio W90
    sure helps.
  • Those slippery, slimy stream rocks are just, that.....  Unless you have a Microscope, and then the rocks are still slippery, but also beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I'm ashamed to admit that I have never thought about what happens to leaves on the water. Leaves on the ground, sure. Thanks for opening my mind to a new thought.

    I have enjoyed very, very much reading through your blog. I look forward to reading more.