Surveying the Sutherland Wash in the aftermath

Went on an hike yesterday to see what the water levels had gotten to in the Sutherland Wash, located at the base of Samaniego Ridge, during our historic downpour.  I began at the Cottonwoods at the Baby Jesus Trail head and worked my way down the wash about a mile, to where the fence is that demarcates the Coronado National Forest boundary and the State Trust Lands.  It appeared that the flow in the Sutherland Wash had reached depths of 4-6 feet in the narrower parts, and about 3 feet deep, and 80 feet wide (!) near the south fence.  Had crossed that part of the wash by that fence many times on horseback. I had seen little streams of water in it a number of times, but nothing close to what apparently had happened on Monday morning; it must have been a stunning sight.  The peak of our storm appeared to fall on the Sutherland Wash watershed.

First, nice sunrise yesterday.  Hope you caught this.

6:01 AM.
6:01 AM.
9:10 AM.  Rocky surfaces on the Catalinas glistening from water.  I thought maybe that water might be still in the Sutherland Wash, up against the foothills, but only in one little spot was it running.
9:10 AM. Rocky surfaces on the Catalinas glistening from water. I thought maybe that water might be still be flowing in the Sutherland Wash, up against the foothills, but only in one little spot was it running.
10:41 AM.  Investigative work begins in the Sutherland Wash at the Cottonwoods near the Baby Jesus Trail head.
10:41 AM. Investigative work begins in the Sutherland Wash at the Cottonwoods near the Baby Jesus Trail head.
10:41 AM.  Using the investagive technique of looking for scour marks, debris piles, and mashed plants, the investigation began.  In summary, I could find no evidence that the Sutherland Wash had ever had a higher flow in it than Monday.
10:41 AM. Using the investigative technique of looking for scour marks, debris piles, and mashed plants, the investigation began. In summary, I could find no evidence that the Sutherland Wash had ever had a higher flow in it than what occurred on Monday.
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Imagine the flow here, enough to push over that young tree!
Imagine the volume of water going over this old cement wall, just south of the Cottonwods!
Imagine the volume of water going over this old cement wall, just south of the Cottonwods!

 

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I suddenly realized, when viewing the mashed plants, pig weed and such, along side the untouched ones, that the concept of mowed lawns was likely introduced to early man sine he would have seen how nice the mashed area looked compared to the wild, stalky look of the untamed vegetation.
I suddenly realized, when viewing the mashed plants, pig weed and such, along side the untouched ones, that the concept of mowed lawns was likely introduced to early man since he would have seen how nice and orderly the flattened areas looked after floods compared to the wild, stalky, unkempt look of the untamed natural vegetation. Thinking about writing this hypothesis up, submitting to the J. of Amer. Cultural Anthropology…. Man always wants to tame things.
10:50 AM  Debris pile.
10:50 AM Debris pile.
Somehow these morning glories made it through the mayhem.
Somehow these morning glories made it through the mayhem.
More debris.  It got to be kind of fascinating, started looking for the biggest ones, really getting into it.
More debris. It got to be kind of fascinating, started looking for the biggest ones, really getting into it.
10:56 AM.  Wash must have been about 4-5 feet deep here, judging by that neat, and nice looking mashed down area on the bank.
10:56 AM. Wash must have been about 4-5 feet deep here, judging by that neat, nice looking mashed down area on the bank.
Certainly an implication of water violence here!
Certainly an implication of water violence here!
Pretty marbled swirls due to multicolored sands.  Almost hated to walk on it.
Pretty marbled swirls due to multicolored sands. Almost hated to walk on it.
More interesting swirls.
More interesting swirls.
Really getting fascinated by the drama presented by a debris pile.  Hope you are, too.
Really getting fascinated by the drama presented by a debris pile. Hope you are, too.
The wash has widened considerably here, but the violence is still evident.  I thought this was a pretty dramatic viewpoint.
The wash has widened considerably here, but the violence is still evident. I thought this was a pretty dramatic viewpoint.
The debris in this young tree suggests the wash was five or so feet deep here, pretty amazing when you add the velocity to that.
The debris in this young tree suggests the wash was five or so feet deep here, pretty amazing when you add the velocity to that.
At the end of the hike, here past the fence and where the equestrian trail enters the wash, measuring from bank to bank showed that it was 80 feet wide, and about 3 feet deep!
At the end of the hike, here past the fence and where the equestrian trail enters the wash, measuring from bank to bank showed that it was 80 feet wide, and about 3 feet deep!
But somehow, this little guy survived the scouring rampage.
But somehow, this little guy survived the scouring rampage.

The weather ahead….

Still looking like an upper trough along California will scoop up soon-to-be Hurricane “Odile” (not “Opal”, as suggested here yesterday) and send its remains into Arizona and with that, another blast of tropical rains. Another four or five inches added to our current water year total would make it look pretty good (hahah). Right now, Catalinans are looking at 14.56 inches for this WY (Oct to Sept). Average is 16.82 inches over the past 37 years.

The End.

PS: There was some ice in heavy Cumulus clouds off to the north toward Oracle Junction yesterday, BTW. Hope you noted it.