D. and I have been walking Permanente Creek. It flows one half block from our house, and we have set out to learn more about it. Here's a bit of what we've learned.
The flow of Permanente Creek comes from several smaller creeks: Ohlone Creek, Magdalena Creek and Loyola Creek. Permanente Creek originates in the Los Altos Hills and flows through Los Altos and Mountain View before draining into San Francisco Bay. It runs 11 miles through these cities and has a drainage area of 8 square miles. During rainstorms, water which runs off driveways, sidewalks and streets travels through the storm drain system to the creek.
Here's a bit of what we've seen.
Bridge under Miramonte Ave.
Crossing under Miramonte Ave. at Cuesta Dr. The creek runs in a natural channel here.
I take a pic of the creek.
The front yard of a house next to the creek. Play-Skool has gas for $1.12 per gallon!
Red maple seed in nearby yard, a reminder autumn is coming.
Going south next to Miramonte Ave, water is found here and there in pockets, but mostly the creekbed is dry and strewn with dead leaves..
Looking downstream, the tunnel under Miramonte Ave. and Cuesta Dr. has a curtain of ivy.
Inside the tunnel.
Ubiquitous blackberries. They cannot be avoided at any point along the creek; they are everywhere.
A rock with a hairdo of pine needles and leaves which swept downstream and came to rest against it the last time water flowed here (probably late spring).
Channel with trash and wall of sack concrete (looks like sandbags), and a little bit of water.
Escaped garden vegetation grows on the banks. It thrives in the shady, damp habitat.
Heading south along Miramonte, the creekbed here is mostly a natural channel with occasional stretches of sack concrete to reinforce the bank.
Looking upstream, a bridge crosses the creek to a Catholic nursing home.
At nearby Cuesta Park, due to recent squirrel attacks a sign warns parents not to bring food into the playground section. A parent obligingly removes her child from the area in order not to provoke the squirrels.
I take a pic of lilies. How else can I take a Flower of the Day pic without getting up close and personal with a flower?
And here they be. Beautiful lilies growing in the neighborhood near Cuesta Park.
Cuesta Park annex, proposed flood control basin for Permanente and Stevens Creeks, which are connected by a concrete flood control diversion channel.
A butterfly sips nectar near Cuesta Park.
A bee sips nectar near Cuesta Park.
A trio of butterflies sips nectar near Cuesta Park. Must be some tasty daisies.
A butterfly close-up. I think it is the kind of butterfly known as a skipper, possibly a Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus).
A young raven in the woods creekside.
Covington Rd. bridge, 1953.
Flood control doohickey at Covington Rd.
"No Dumping! Flows To Permanente Creek," Covington Rd. Duh, yeah, the creek is totally visible like 12 feet away from that storm drain. NSS.
The concrete trapezoid channel along Miramonte Ave.
Cocoon-infested oak tree, Miramonte Ave.
Close-up cocoons. We saw a gypsy moth trap not too far down the road.
Adopt a creek? Hmm . . . maybe we will.
Looking upstream where the natural channel resumes at Heritage Oaks Park.
Portland Ave tunnel at Heritage Oaks Park, looking downstream at the transition from natural channel to concrete trapezoid channel, close to the flood control diversion to Stevens Creek.
Walking the diversion channel section is for another day.