We’re all a bit stir-crazy and can benefit from spring weather and spring flowers. If you’re in Ames, I recommend walking east of the ISU campus, where (as of April 5) the ground is carpeted with blue flowered squills, Scilla siberica. It’s not often that you see that color blue in nature, or in that quantity!
While you’re there, take a peek in College Creek. When I visited, the water was clear, the bottom was rocky, and it was full of 4-6 inch fish.
This was great to see. College Creek used to be a dump, but between legal action against businesses and mobile home parks that were discharging sewage, urban conservation projects, and the annual trash clean-up event, it’s become a lovely place. Most of our backyard streams have the same potential, if we treat them right.
I should caution you that that E. coli levels in College Creek and other streams in Ames often exceed the primary contact recreation standard, but you’re washing your hands constantly anyway, right? (Bold values in the table below exceed the single-sample maximum of 235 colonies/100mL. Data are collected and posted by the City of Ames.)
|SAMPLE DATE||SKUNK RIVER||SQUAW CREEK||CLEAR CREEK||COLLEGE CREEK||WORLE CREEK|
|October 11, 2019||558||758||268||1,024||378|
|September 24, 2019||1,764||1,446||320||904||1,024|
|August 6, 2019||122||2,909||6,867||8,664||3,448|
|July 16, 2019||839||5,172||24,196||>24,196||2,098|
|June 11, 2019||173||374||414||583||594|
|May 16, 2019||63||231||189||265||384|
|April 9, 2019||122||158||85||2909||448|
|October 16, 2018||187||187||171||298||282|
|September 18, 2018||479||105||50||261||—|
|August 14, 2018||275||529||1439||2098||—|