Thirsty Thursday

Howdy from Coney, your Colorado Field CorrespondentConey the Pine Squirrel

Ol’ Wally offered his water day to me, which, heh, is ironic. Ol’ Wally spends many of his posts telling you human readers how short of water wildlife in Virginia’s suburbs can be. However, my mountain community has had the opposite problem. After a summer of unusually high rain, the ground in our watershed was saturated. Then a monsoon storm sat along the Front Range. We were overloaded with water and the ground gave way. While most humans called this a ‘flood’, what we really had was a debris flow.

Jamestown CO flood

The water carried soil, rock, sand, trees and other vegetation. The force of it plowed through our narrow canyons, scouring some of them to bedrock.

Jamestown CO flood

The humans speculate that close to me along James Creek the water flowed at 3000 cubic feet per second. This doesn’t mean much to squirrels, except the water tore up our habitat.

Debris leaft from Jamestown CO flood

James Creek changed its course and ended up taking the easier path of the road.

Jamestown CO flood

It remains there now part of the way through my neighborhood. We have no idea when the humans will be able to access their homes. The town streets and homes and the forests are filled with layers of sand and mud.

sand in Jamestown CO flood

The water has receded, but it will be years, if ever, before the land looks natural again.

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