Raleigh Nature

July 4, 2008

Back to Basics – East Raleigh beginnings

Filed under: East Raleigh, Gems & Surprises, Greenways & Parks, Nature Lore — Tags: , , , — raleighnaturalist @ 6:35 pm
lower Longview Lake from south

lower Longview Lake from south

    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.

Bertie Creek hits Crabtree

Bertie Creek hits Crabtree

    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.

Marsh Creek floodplain from Rollingwood

Marsh Creek floodplain from Rollingwood

Crabtree at Milburnie

Crabtree at Milburnie

This “surprise” was a heron which scattered from behind a sewer tower and managed to get caught in my uplifting camera lense.  As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this easternmost section of Buckeye is very “birdy,” with all three kinds of local woodpeckers, hawks being harassed by crows, and plenty of herons.

Nature News

The Wake County Quarterly

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.

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