Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Quiet Thoughts

Boulder Creek -- the creek
The creek behind my house: Boulder Creek.

We bought our house in 2001. This view from our back deck -- which hangs over said creek -- is one of the main reasons we bought this house. This changeable creek runs year round but its character changes dramatically over the course of that year. In fall, it is a tiny trickle. In spring and summer, it is a beautiful flowing creek with deep pools for swimming, ducks, fish, and crayfish. In the winter though, it changes and takes on a new life. When storms rage here, our sleepy, quiet stream turns into a violent force of nature. The water levels swell, it flows downhill at breakneck speed. When we step into our backyard, the roar of it is deafening.

Boulder Creek -- storm swell
Same view, during a winter storm.

I love the beauty that surrounds us. I honestly think we live in the most beautiful place in the world but I never take it lightly. We haven't had a huge storm like this yet this winter which is a becoming more unusual as January is generally when winter really starts going here. Still, this view never ceases to amaze and delight me. At times, it brings me peace and then other times, it can fill me with energy and awe.

Now, a birding question. With this amazing creek nearby, should I provide water in my yard in the summer for the birds? Or assume that they can get water from the creek. In winter, during storms, it isn't an issue. Water is everywhere -- a pool of it would be quite redundant. But in the summer, are there birds who won't go down to the creek for a drink.

PS. Oops! I got caught (as evidenced by the comments) in an editing trap. I originally wrote a post about American Idol. Then I decided that it wasn't saying what I wanted it to say and I dumped it and wrote this post. But, people saw it, commented, and now their comments make NO sense whatsoever! Sorry! So, to recap . . . we watched AI last night as a family. Good: love the show. thought Jewel did a great job. Simon was actually quite decent to people. Bad: I hate it when these delusional people think they are going to win the contest and they are so untalented as a singer that they shouldn't have made it past the screeners. There is a meanness in letting them through that I can barely stand. I'd rather skip the auditions altogether and watch just the contest after they are chosen. And, I really worry about the poeple that they televise who are clearly mentally ill. Didn't see any last night but the previews look as if we'll be seeing some tonight. :( I do, however, get an evil, mean glee out of watching people who claim to be fanatics of the show and think they are going to get on -- that woman at the end who has all the episodes on tape. Isn't she paying attention? You can't just be an okay singer. You can't even be a good singer. To make it, you have to be an amazing singer and have showmanship -- you have to have or be able to develop the package. It's your favorite show and you can't see that? Wow. The funniest one though was the Lion girl. Seeing her sing the Cowardly Lion song was amazing enough but hearing her sing OTHER songs that way . . . {jaw falls open}. And, words I never thought I'd hear myself utter . . . Poor Prince. That medley of his songs. Wow. There was one woman singing one of his songs (the one with the tie who may have been in that mentally ill category) who she was nearly done before I recognized the song. Amazing!


Mary said...

I'm with you, Liza. While it was entertaining last night, it does drag on and on and on. I really don't get hyper until the finalists are chosen. Then the show rocks. How did you like that Lioness last night? I nearly fell out of my chair!

Lynne said...

AI rocks! The Lioness was too much-I almost choked laughing. I agree about the teenagers thinking they're great when they're not. Mom or Dad or SOMEONE should be helping them understand before they get to the point of auditioning. For example- the 16 year old singer/dancer/juggler boy who cried and said he "wanted to start out famous". I had to give the mom consoling him the evil eye- foolish mom didn't do him any favors. BTW- We love the original Stargate too!

vicki said...

We missed it- I'm not so hooked on it but I do enjoy watching every now and then. I confess to being a Survivor addict- that's worse, I think. I get some kind of kick out of watching personalities wax and wane.

Popcorn! That's what I've been missing. I need to go to the store and get some good white hulless corn for here at the Florida house.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow my hummingbird feeders go up.

robin andrea said...

When Roger and I lived in Santa Cruz, the Carbonara Creek flowed through our backyard. Our house was just a few hundred feet from the confluence of the Carbonara and the Branciforte. Winter storms kept me up at night. The water in the creek would come up so fast it was astonishing. Our house was quite a bit up from the creek, so I didn't worry about it flooding, but the yard had been washed out once by the storms of 1982. In the eight years we had the place, the creek overflowed its banks once, coming way up into the yard, and into our sauna! But that was the only time. It's tricky to leave that close to water, but so beautiful.

Good question about birds and water in summer. I wish I had an answer.

Sandy said...

It is very pretty. How high has it come up? I can see why you have a lot of birds.

Lynne said...

Part 2-
Wow- what a gorgeous view from your deck! Watching that creek change with the weather and the seasons must be amazing. Lucky you!!

Jane said...

I think we tie for the most beautiful place to live :-)

I know what you mean about the ever changing view of living on a river or creek. It changes daily. Today I had hooded mergansers out there and it's only the second time I've seen them in a few years. Usually we see Common Mergansers.

I put out water for the birds anyway in case the river is dirty, or running fast. I like them to have fresh clean water near the food I put out.

Love AI, also love Beauty and the Geek so I'm flipping for the first hour on these audition shows cause they are painful.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Thanks for all the feedback on AI and my creek.

Fortunately, it doesn't rise near our house. The bank is quite high and has lots of boulders (SERIOUS boulders!) in it for stability. And, the other side of the creek is much lower and goes on and on and on. We think that even in a worst case scenario, the water would go that way first. Phew.

We flooded in our old house in 1998 and it was awful. We kept the water out of our house but had thousands of dollars of damage to our landscaping and driveway. Oh joy! Evacuating 6 dogs, 3 cars, and ourselves late at night when I was 4 mos pregnant was NOT fun!

We lived her in 1982, Robin Andrea, it was memorable. We looked at several houses here that we could not consider living in because of the hills above them. In a bad storm, we would not be able to sleep! So, we picked this place pretty carefully!

I will look for a water feature to put out for the birds -- particularly in the front yard. Thanks!

Mary said...


Your creek view is so wonderful. We had a creek like that in MD at the back of our property so we didn't have a view unless we walked to it. It produced turtles, crayfish, and all sorts of critters. All of the birds who visit my backyard now drink from the pond. Even the tiny birds will maneuver themselves onto a rock and bend over for a few sips. Maybe a bird bath kept in the shade might be useful?

Regarding AI, it's the nature of the entertainment industry to get these whacked out people in living rooms across the nation. I tire of the endless idiots, many of them just want a few minutes of fame on national TV and the producers are more than happy to give it to them. I am looking forward to some great talent to pop up but I haven't seen it yet.

mon@rch said...

What a differance with the stream! WOW! Great post but sorry, didn't watch idol!