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.

fish in College Creek

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.)

October 11, 20195587582681,024378
September 24, 20191,7641,446320 9041,024
August 6, 20191222,9096,8678,6643,448
July 16, 20198395,17224,196>24,1962,098
June 11, 2019173374414583594
May 16, 201963231189265384
April 9, 2019122158852909448
October 16, 2018 187 187 171298 282
September 18, 2018 47910550261
August 14, 2018 275 529 1439 2098 —