Jojo and I got a bit of a late start on Sunday, I was just plain tired from the Lotus Fest, and then we had to move a washer-dryer before leaving. Still it was quite warm when we left about 3pm, so we took our swim suits, figuring this may be the last hot day of summer. So we rode first to Stipp Road, hitting 45 mph down the long steep hill. We stopped at the corner of Stipp & Moore’s Creek and we found that the bay at the end of Johnson Hollow had totally dried up. Jojo tried the water by the shore, but it was warm, and as he turned to come back to shore, the mud held onto his feet, and down he went into about 6 inches of water. I tried not to laugh, but could not help myself. I decided to cross the bay, it looked like the water was deep along the far shore. It was a tough ride across the muddy flats, but we made it to the far side with no mishaps.
I changed and dived into the water, and swam around a bit, it was so refreshing. The water was about 6 feet deep, and much cooler than in the shallows. Jojo soon followed and when we were out about a hundred yards just goofing around, Jojo yelled at me to spin around in the water, I thought maybe a CO officer in a boat was coming to throw us out (it has happened). But no, it was a mature bald eagle heading right at us, he circled, eyeing us as he flew over, then shot downwards, and hit the water a hundred yards from us. He came up empty, took off for the far ridge and disappeared into the trees.
There were some rather odd objects sharing the lake with us this time, Jojo had seen them before, and whether they are fish egg sacs or some plant based thing, they are definitely strange, slimy and gelatinous, with a number of compartments in each mass. The form on trunks or twigs or water plants, what ever is stable for them to latch on to and grow in size. This video shows one that broke loose and was bobbing in the water. If you have a clue to what these are, let me know.
Once we dried off, we started back. We noted how low the water was at the gravel boat ramp, you could almost walk across the lake. As we crossed the Moore’s Creek bridge, we stopped as there was no water in the creek bed other than a couple of algae covered pools. We walked downstream towards the lake and found several large holes in the bank. At first blush I thought it could be beavers, but on closer inspection it became evident they were spring heads that were normally under water. I knew this from the work the EPA did along Conard’s Branch, downstream from Neal’s Landfill, where PCB concentrations increase downstream due to creekside springs.