A morning in the life of junior waterkeepers.

The Eldest and E. were dressed, fed, and out the backdoor by 8 a.m. this morning in pursuit of a noble cause. Last night, they regaled us with stories of a “disgusting, blood reddish pond” in the woods abutting Cherokee Hills and Woodland Hills. They were determined to investigate further this morning.

By the time I rolled out of bed and doused my face in coffee, the boys had returned- “You’ve got to see this!”- and convinced me to hop in the spaceship and drive over to Lakewood Circle to photograph the curious pond. I parked on the street and crossed my fingers that no one would report us.

We entered the woods just past a water drain.

“Watch where you step,” warned the Eldest. The kudzu hibernates during the winter but everything we see (and every step we take) is a mass of kudzu come summertime. Not what you’d call firm ground.

The Prophet and Gnome walked down the slippery slope, eyes peeled for holes and loose soil. They wanted to throw sticks into the “bloody water.”

The boys were right. It wasn’t pretty. And it came straight from the stormwater drain.

You could see the high degree of sedimentation just beneath the orange skein.

After having followed the water upstream and downstream, the boys had their theories. E. mentioned a possible sewer line spilling into the woods. We concluded the storm drain near the street was the probably source point of pollution.

Looking downstream from the pond.

The Eldest pontificates.

“Shouldn’t we map out the watershed so we can see where all this is going?”, I asked. The photos of watershed landmarks come in handy when map time rolls around.

The boys wanted to follow the water back to Cherokee Hills so I hiked back to the spaceship (which hadn’t been towed) and drove back to wait for the budding waterkeepers.

“The water looks super yuck!”

Back at the castle, a hapless queen scoured the web for answers. The coolest geologist in the world (cough, Anne Wynn) gave us a clue- the boys were exploring the Cribb Mill Creek Watershed. And what do you know? A google search gave me the Cribbs Mill Creek Watershed Management Plan. The boys returned anxious to test the water and see the watershed plan. Cowabunga, let the good times roll.

We’re off to test the water with our water testing kits. The mischief-maker in me says why not leave a geocache near the nasty pond to encourage others to bear witness but the fine, upstanding mom in me says what if some fool gets hurt. Who knows which side will win?

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