Raleigh Nature

September 25, 2008

Fallon Park – a long, fine necklace in Raleigh’s greenway jewels

 Fallon Park, just northeast of Five Points, and sloping with its long narrow shape down to Crabtree Creek at Anderson Drive, is a long necklace in Raleigh’s park jewels. The remains of a small mill structure lend even more interest to a wonderful rockfall along the creek that defines the park.  Fallon Creek is short : its headwaters gather right in the front yards of the very well appointed houses along White Oak Road off Anderson Drive.  The long skinny park has an unpaved path that is heavily used by joggers, walkers and doggers.  I never go on the weekend, but I have such fond memories of going there on weekday afternoons with my small children, chasing crawfish in the rockpools and climbing around the old mill structure.  It is a clean, rock-filled creek with a wide range of trees and plants arranged around its slopes.  There are small grass meadows at the top and bottom.  It serves a surrounding community that maintains rich, semi-organic plantings in its large yards, and it drains steep wooded slopes with older houses and little construction.  The creek’s quality reflects all of that.

Rockpools where Lily and Dori and I fished many times.

Rockfall and brick mill structure.

Fallon Park photo tour

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I posted at Raleigh Rambles about the Carolina Farm Stewardship’s  farm tour.  It was a fun couple of drives, and we saw plenty of nature to go along with the agriculture, as pictured below.

Above, a native plant area at the Piedmont Biofuel Lab Farm.  Below a large bird, perhaps a raven , that swooped down toward the highway for some time in front of us.  I suppose it’s probably a vulture, but it certainly didn’t act like one.

September 3, 2008

Fletcher Park water feeds Pigeon House Creek

Filed under: Central Raleigh, green initiatives, Greenways & Parks — Tags: , , , — raleighnaturalist @ 10:10 pm

There is not a lot to update on the earlier post about Fletcher Park’s new water park, which remains in a distinctly unlovely stage of construction, but this project is interesting from several angles and seems worth another look.  The large cavities being excavated from the red clay are designed to hold the water headed down to Pigeon House Creek, which is the long-suffering waterway that parallels Capital Boulevard as it flows north toward its intersection with Crabtree Creek at Raleigh Swamp.  What look like huge pits will allow the water to deposit sediment and be filtered by plant activity before flowing on down the hill.

      A nice description of the benefits, which include hopes for “A new ecosystem for this area of the park [with] butterflies, dragonflies, and frogs, among other animal species,  ”  can be found at The Raleigh Connoiseur.  But that post was in May, and the plan was for the water garden to be finished soon after.  But there it sits.  The upper pool shown below will cascade or slide down to the larger lower pool.

      This site was a Methodist orphanage, built in 1900 and still operating well into my lifetime.  The City purchased the property in 1982 and named the park for A.J. Fletcher’s recreation-loving son.  Fred Fletcher was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2007.

     The outlet seen above is the water’s exit toward Pigeon House Creek.  From this point the water dives underground and is piped under the railroad line and across N. West Street.  I cannot find a spot to view that intersection yet.  Below is a  picture of Pigeon House Branch just downstream.  We will follow it’s grim journey down Capital sometime soon.

Fletcher Park and Pigeon House Creek photo album

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