One thing is certain… no matter what else is happening, time goes on. And with it, things change. Some so slowly it’s almost imperceptible, while other things so quickly it seems if you blink you might miss them. Somewhere between the extremes is the changes that take place in autumn. Slowly the leaves start to change colour, at least on certain types of trees and other plants. Then they begin to fall cover the ground like a colourful carpet. Around here the rain starts to become more frequent and the rivers and creeks start to flow more swiftly. In some cases they go from being almost totally dry stream beds to rushing flows of water.
Ayum Creek, once the home to salmon fry as they developed and made their way to the Pacific Ocean. Time passed and the salmon that lived their lives far from their birthplace make the return journey to spawn in Ayum Creek, where they could already be seen just days after it was flowing again, in early October. The spawning fish are likely to attract more wildlife to the creek banks, including bears and birds who will enjoy the feast and maybe let me take their photos (from a distance), if I’m lucky.
Over the winter there will probably be some thin ice clinging to the banks, but, it it is a typical year, it won’t be cold enough to freeze over. The creek should continue to flow until sometime next summer, when, if it is another hot and dry one, it will once again slow to a trickle and then dry up until the fall. Then the cycle will start over, as time goes on.
A visit to the same place just over a week later and the number of returning salmon is incredible! The creek is full of them and some, having spawned and died, have ended up on the banks, where they are slowly decomposing and being scavenged by the local wildlife.