Goodbye Creek, Crater Lake NP, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park is found in southern Oregon. It is only one in a long series of volcanoes found along the northwest coast of North America. About 6,500 of years ago, the volcano Mount Mazama collapsed on itself and created a large caldera. Over many years, the caldera filled with water and created Crater Lake. The lake is the deepest lake in the United States with a depth of 1,932 feet. The lake is known for its deep blue color that contrasts the surrounding evergreen forests of the Cascade peaks. Even after the largest eruption, the volcano was still active and Wizard Island is one of the remnants of that activity. Since Mount Mazama is long gone, Mount Scott is now the highest point in the park at 8,900 feet.
This is Goodbye Creek on the slopes of the park. This panorama highlights the ecosystem that exists in a forest on the banks of a creek. The levels of this creek will vary seasonally due to snowfall and rainfall amounts. Levels in winter will likely be lower but as spring rains and snowmelt increase, the creek levels will rise. Nearby Munson Point is probably the source of Goodbye Creek's discharge. Eventually small creeks feed into larger creeks and rivers. Goodbye connects to Annie Creek downstream.
Along the shores of the creek, you will find many types of insects, amphibians, and small reptiles as permanent residents. Larger animals visit the creek for water, but don't live on the banks. You should also notice the pattern of plant growth. Smaller plants grow near the bank of the creek and larger trees begin growing upslope form the creek. One explanation for this growth pattern is that the spring floods make it difficult for larger plants to take root and smaller seasonal plants can survive the rising water levels. The increase in spring flow might also wash away younger, unestablished plants. Don't worry, the larger trees have deep root systems that are able to take advantage of the soaked soil below the creek.
Image Credit: Andrew Rader Studios