Puutansuu… or is it Putaansuu?

I’ve seen it both ways but chances are you’ve never heard of it at all.

I hadn’t either until I started this job.

Now I know all about Putaansuu, Waketickeh and a bunch of other strangely named streams that take too much mental energy to spit out.

Well, maybe not all about. But I at least have an idea of how they’re supposed to be pronounced. (It still takes me about 5 seconds to finally spit out “Waketickeh” and that’s by visualizing each syllable in my mind and sounding it out.)


About Puutansuu. Our stream layer shows Putaansuu Creek flowing out of a lake and into Chimacum Creek, but we’ve seen portions of it flowing both into the lake and into the creek– which doesn’t make any sense. During the salmon spawn survey season we hiked a portion of Putaansuu with our GPS and our track showed us on a tributary to Putaansuu and not on the mainstem. Needless to say we had a few questions about where the stream channel was really located and how/where it flowed.

These questions couldn’t be answered to our satisfaction from studying aerial images and topography… so into the field we went! (Woohoo!)

We hiked along the creek as far as we could go. We climbed through jungle gyms of vine maples covered in green moss, over and under fallen cedars, through forests of ferns, along steep ravines covered in maple leaves, along game trails (with evidence of those that walked before us)… until finally we couldn’t go any further because we came to this:

And once again I wish I could trust myself to bring my Canon 50D out with me instead of our nearly ancient 3.2 megapixel camera.

We decided that the falls were definitely a fish barrier.

Looking downstream from the falls you can see a bit of the type of “stuff” we had to get through.

And at the base of the falls was a bunch of foamy stuff. I’m sure there’s a more technical term for it… but I’m just sticking with foamy stuff.

I think it looks like snow. Kind of gross snow… but still.

We found a road to follow most of the way back downstream. It took us less than an hour on the road to go the same distance it took about 2 hours through the woods.

After getting a snack at the local coffee-house we headed up to Anderson Lake park to see if we could find where the stream came out of the lake. We weren’t able to get to the inlet because of mud, reeds, and the time of day.

The park was pretty neat, though. I’d like to go back with my camera to explore a bit more. I really liked this old tree covered in lichen:

I wish I could have taken a better picture of it to share with you… it was pretty awesome. Maybe I’ll take a trip back up there in the spring for a bit of a photo-adventure.

Our field trip was successful. We discovered that the mainstem of the stream followed what we thought was a tributary and then shifted back to where it “should” be according to our data. We also concluded that the stream is connected to Anderson Lake and the flow may be influenced by the water level of the lake.

Plus it was fun. :) (Of course I came away with a couple of bruises, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.)

Oh, and I put my hand in some… well, lets just call it yucky animal evidence. I was trying to figure out how to get up a ravine that was covered with downed limbs and leaves. It was hard to tell what was solid ground or just a limb with leaves covering a gap. Genius me didn’t have a walking stick so I tested a “ledge” at my shoulder with my hand… and put it right in a pile of something sticky.

I decided to try a different route.

Puutansuu/Puutansuu = Poo-tans-eww

Haha sorry, couldn’t help it.


One response to “Puutansuu… or is it Putaansuu?

  1. Pingback: in love with someone you can’t have « Miss Sarah·

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