Scoured

by Carl Strang

With water levels returning to their usual lower levels in the wake of last week’s flood, some changes are evident in the stream at Mayslake Forest Preserve.

Strongly flowing water is a geological force. It carries away any loose particles whose weight cannot resist the current.

Strongly flowing water is a geological force. It carries away any loose particles whose weight cannot resist the current.

What remains are the larger pieces.

Just downstream from the location of the previous photo are newly sorted bars and piles of clean looking larger rocks.

Just downstream from the location of the previous photo are newly sorted bars and piles of clean looking larger rocks.

The stream at Mayslake no longer is a typical DuPage County muddy waterway.

There are gravel bottomed riffles and pools.

There are gravel bottomed riffles and pools.

This change will favor some stream dwelling organisms at the expense of others.

The effect of this resorting of stream material on the biological community could develop over several years.

The effect of this resorting of stream material on the biological community could develop over several years.

It will be interesting to follow this community, as I will be doing with the nearby marsh as it recovers from the drought, and as I will be doing with the insects in the portions of prairies and savannas impacted by this spring’s controlled burns. Balance of nature? Nature always is in flux. Ecological studies deal with moving targets.

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1 Comment

  1. kattalina said,

    April 26, 2013 at 10:41 am

    i love your posts about mays lake. I hope to get there soon to see some of these changes.


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