“A Rose By Any Other Name…”
Behold, a runnel. That is: a rivulet, brook, or streamlet. In the early winter on San Juan Island, this inches wide “runnel” first courses through verdant blades of grass in Beaverton valley and an adjoining preservation flatland to the north draining a lowland of approximately 350 acres.
I may someday find an old-timer who knows of a historic name for this seasonal creek, but until then I will call it Beaverton Brook. “Beaverton Runnel” just doesn’t ring right, no wonder other synonyms have won greater popularity.
The mighty Columbia River began as many tiny runnels. However this brook never has a chance at greatness, being all of 1/8th mile long before reaching the sea.
Entering into the lush old growth cedars, madrone, and firs of the UofW marine biology lab’s 370 acres of nature preserve is like entering Alice’s rabbit hole. Dense green soothes your senses as a cloistered feeling prevails, then slowly in the worlds-apart newfound silence you detect the bubbling, babbling, and burbling of a brook….
Deer hoove prints precede your footprints in the dark, damp forest trail as you leave the road at the bridge and enter an elfin world with earthy fragrances, frogs, ferns, dappled sunlight, and peace. But if you visit after the month of June, the magic babbling brook will have faded to buzzing bumblebees and Beaverton Brook is a memory.
Photo location: 40 ft. from the sea on the UofW’s “bug station” property. Hand held with image stabilization.