Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Saturday, May 21, 2011

High Water At Emmerling Park

Looking up stream to the bridge.
Location  N40º 34.747’  W79º 51.935’

Click on photos to view full size. 

Looking down stream. This area of grass was recently flooded.
I was running an errand on Thursday May 19,  and I noticed the water in Deer Creek was running high under the pedestrian bridge in Emmerling Park, Indiana Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Looking up stream from bridge.

So I stopped and got some photos of the water and another of my
 favorite wildflowers, dame’s rocket.

Looking down stream.
Well the water turned out to be not as high as I had thought from the highway, but what the hell, I made the effort to have a look, may as well get some photos.  The bridge was installed by Indiana Township to access some additional parkland, and is also used by the Rachel Carson Trail.  The bridge was severely damaged by flooding from the heavy rainfall during Hurricane Ivan in the fall of 2004, and had to be repaired. 

I clicked over 35 years with the company right before I retired, so I chose a GPS as my service award.  The new one is a sophisticated automobile navigation unit.   
My old GPS, Henry The Navigator. 

This is my original one.  I now own three and if I could only keep one, it would be this one.  It is not very sophisticated, but you can use it to navigate to Geocache or across an ocean, and it will navigate roads but not with the sophisticated on the fly turn by turn instructions.  The new one is very sophisticated for the road and has voice command, but is pretty sorry for off road navigation. 

Screen dump of Google Maps. Click to view full size.
If you look at the coordinates displayed on the screen, they are slightly different than the coordinates displayed above.  The above coordinates were taken in the middle of the bridge using an average of 25 readings (the GPS does it for you).  The units are susceptible to drift so by averaging a Waypoint you get a more accurate location. How accurate?  The screen dump is Google maps satellite view.  The green arrow is the location of my coordinates.  The bridge is 10 foot wide and I was in the middle.  Pretty accurate!

Creeping Buttercups

The bridge had a lot of creeping buttercups Ranunuculus repens nearby.  A couple of things that I did not realize, it is not a native plant, and it is poisonous.  If eaten by cattle, it can cause blistering of the digestive track.  It can also cause dermatitis in humans, so don’t pick the buttercups.

My last wildflower turns out to be not so wild.  It was introduced to North America in the 1600s from Europe.  It is considered an invasive species and some states in the US are active trying to eradicate it.  Well it certainly is a lovely pest.  Dames Rocket, Hesperis matronalis.  I am not sure why dame’s rocket is considered with such distaste.  It has been around for 400 years.  If we want to start eradicating an invasive species from North America, should we not start with ourselves? 

People often think these are escaped phlox. My mother called it tall phlox, but they are not a phlox.  Dame’s rocket has 4 petals, phlox has five. I included the various color ranges of the blooms, so we have a lot of photos of dame’s rocket.

Japanese Knotweed
The variation of dame's rocket goes from purple to white, with some variegated mixtures between.

While we are on the topic of invasive plants, lets consider the queen mother of invasives, Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica.  It is growing around the bridge and is visible in several of the dame’s rocket photos above.

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