This is the first picture I took with my new camera for this blog, in late January 2007. Longview Lake was the big body of water in my childhood. I was more familiar with the upper section, just below Enloe, which has been surrounded by development and is filling up with silt. This lower section is in good shape, and some of the homes have small docks, of which I’m quite envious.
Longview temporarily collects the waters of Bertie Creek, coming down Bertie Drive below Enloe, which then crosses Milburnie at Peartree Lane and makes its way down to Crabtree as seen below. This lowest stretch of Bertie, which parallels Milburnie and crosses under Buckeye Trail’s beginning, gets some interesting visitors exploring upstream from the larger creek. Just below the Buckeye bridge over it, the small creek pools up, and I have seen large sliders and snappers meditating a climb over the partly submerged sewer pipe blocking their way. Above the greenway bridge, there are some nice rock riffles, and I was once amazed ( and too startled to act) by lifting up a large flat rock to reveal an Amphiuma – my only sight ever of this huge, biting salamander.
Crabtree and Bertie enclose a diagonal of East Raleigh neighborhood, east Rollingwood, that is bordered by rich upland woods. These high areas surround a large rock outcrop that turns the creek right after it has absorbed the waters of Marsh Creek. That union, Marsh Creek and Crabtree, creates a huge marshy area highlighted by Raleigh Swamp at Capital Boulevard. Below that, after the rocky overhang, Crabtree is steadily on its way to becoming a coastal plain waterway. It’s flat, meandering path is lined with deep, silt-lined walls of clay, gouged regularly by floods. It is not a pretty creek – the banks give the impression of accumulated eons of ring around the bathtub. But there are interesting tangles of trees and the occasional surprise.
Here, like usual, are so many opportunities to learn about and interact with nature. Even if you don’t need the structured activities, it’s nice to be reminded of the beavers at Blue Jay Point, the farm history at Oak View Park, the bats at Crowder Park on Ten-ten, and the restored gristmill at Yates Mill.