Tag Archives: Marla Bore

Enjoying the Effects of the Flood

Well, the flood was certainly inconvenient and was keeping us from moving on, but for someone who loves nature and science, this was a real National Geographic-level opportunity, and I was enjoying myself immensely.

Desert frogs, which survive underground for as long as 7 years, only come out when there is flooding. They mate and lay eggs, and if they’re lucky, the eggs will hatch and the tadpoles will grow to adulthood before the water disappears. So while it was still raining, we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by frogs. Then, within a week, after the rain had stopped, we found that all the ponds and pools that remained were filled with tadpoles. Having seen this previously on a TV special, I was thrilled to watch it unfold before me (though I wouldn’t be able to stick around for the full cycle and watch grown frogs bury themselves again).

As the water began to recede, the force with which the water had flowed through some places was underscored by flattened bushes and, what delighted me more, patterns in the mud that looked like patterns on the sea floor. It was fascinating—and, as with most things I find interesting, deserving of being photographed.

So here are the photos: on the left, tadpoles, and on the right, the “sea floor” patterns left by a temporary roaring river.




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Viewing the Flood

When the rain let up after a few days, the railroad crew stuck with us at Marla Bore brought out a crane to use to try to spot people who were stuck in the flood and trying to get to higher ground. After the serious work was done, they offered to give us rides in the bucket.

The thing I don’t mention in the book (because my mom would see it there) is that the bucket had no bottom. It had completely rusted out. All that was left was a narrow ledge to which the bottom was once bolted. So we stood in the corners, with our feet pressed tightly into that 1/2-inch of metal with its empty bolt holes, wrapped our arms through the chains that held the bucket, and away we went (though just a couple of us at a time).

Because there was no bottom, we were pretty much stuck taking photos in whatever direction we were facing when the bucket was aloft, so I didn’t get the most dramatic image of the flood (the really impressive fields of water were in the opposite direction), but I got a nice overview of the motel at Marla and the surrounding watery wilderness. It was a fun and unexpected thrill, and a great way to scan the horizon.

The Crane

The View

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