They say that it all flows back into the sea and I think of that concept as I walk along the little run that crosses through the woods here. A run is a depression in the land that creates small course of running water almost through out the year. These runs created our low rolling hill country that surrounds the lower land areas around Lake Erie that were once covered by lake water. Many runs do dry up during the hottest weather in the shallowest areas but the deepest parts hold pools of water all summer long.
All these runs have names, or did at one time. No one knows this ones name so I call it Hill Darter Run because of the darter fish that live in the big pools and the hill we live on.
Runs are the smallest streams here, after that it's just runoff from rainstorms that cut the land but do not leave standing water that creates any type of special water environment. This run holds a few different species of salamanders, crayfish, a couple species of fish, newts, spring peepers, green and wood frogs. Many insects that start their life in water are found in the run. The water makes this an attractive place for birds and mammals to live here, it also creates good environment for a diverse list of plants, trees, shrubs and fungus to settle here.
Some runs go through deep old bottom land woods and some create openings in upland woods that bring in sun so each of these creates separate environments depending on age of the trees and land contour.
Runs coming together create bogs and swamps on level ground that create really special environments, many of these are natures nurseries for all kinds of animals, birds, fish, insects and plants. You cannot go anywhere here without hitting a run, a pothole lake or pond, bogs and swamps. This was all created during the melting of the last ice age glaciers here and these runs have been eating into the bedrock ever since.
Many of the first cabins and barn foundations where built with bedrock stone taken from these runs. There is a lot of shaped stone, rather squarish and flat from the long term breakage from the flowing run. If a foundation has round stone then that was field stone left from melting ice and moraines. There are both square bedrock stones and glacier stones in many runs, the rounds ones usually rolled into the stream over time if they were not dropped there.
One of my fondest memories as a child was every Sunday my Grandfather took us to a run to play in. We caught salamanders, crayfish, we picked wild fruit and nuts and flowers and just enjoyed the day away from the city. We brought food and beverages, baskets and blankets and spent the whole day living it up in the country. That run is now covered over most of the way with housing plans but there is still a bit of it left that was saved because it ran along the rail line that later became a protected bike and walking path so it still lives on today thank goodness. That run flows into Montour Creek which flows into the Ohio River. I call that run Grandpa's Run.
This Hill Darter Run here on the farm flows into French Creek, which flows into The Allegheny River, which meets The Monongahela River in Pittsburgh and creates the Ohio River. From there the waters flow into the Mississippi and down and creates the delta in New Orleans.
Then it's back to the sea again to start the process all over.
It rained today, the run flows faster towards the sea.