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Morning photo: Meadow Creek

A mountain stream

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In the autumn, Meadow Creek dwindles to a mellow trickle.

FRISCO — Meadow Creek is my hometown’s little stream. Tenmile Creek may be a little bigger and more famous — if a creek can be famous — but Meadow Creek runs right through the busy guts of our little town, down from the Gore Range, under I-70 and right through center of Frisco’s busy commercial thoroughfare, past the bus depot (or transfer station, if you want to use the genteel name for that facility), past Walmart, underneath busy Summit Boulevard, then past a place called Meadow Creek Tires, through a culvert near our local bank branch and then, well, right into our backyard, where it forms a lovely pond before making its final run into Dillon Reservoir.

I can’t tell for sure, but I think before the reservoir was built, Meadow Creek would have been a tributary to Tenmile Creek, with a confluence somewhere downstream of the current Frisco Marina. One of the area’s most popular hiking trails ascends along one branch of the creek up to Lilypad Lake, with serves as natural reservoir of sorts for the stream, helping to maintain flows in the dry seasons. And in that same general area, up on a series of benches on the lower slopes of the Gore Range, are a series of large wetlands and beaver ponds, that also help attenuate the stream’s flows. All in all, a classic Colorado mountain stream!

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This section of Meadow Creek is usually covered by the waters of Dilon Reservoir. But this coming spring, with a second year of low water levels, it’ll be interesting to watch this reach and get an idea of what it must have looked like in the pre-dam days.

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A water lily on in Lilypad Lake, part of the Meadow Creek drainage.

Meadow Creek at flood stage.

Meadow Creek at flood stage, overflowing its banks.

Beneath the ice of Meadow Creek.

Beneath the ice of Meadow Creek.

Meadow Creek flowing through a drainage system around Walmart.

Meadow Creek flowing through a drainage system around Walmart.

The lower end of Meadow Creek nurtures a rich wetlands ecoystem, including muskrats and beavers.

The lower end of Meadow Creek nurtures a rich wetlands ecoystem, including muskrats, ducks, herons and beavers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your creek! Elaine

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