Jarvis Creek indicator sign at the side of Leetes Island Road (Rt. 146), Branford, CTCOMMON.GEAR/Shoreline Antique Auto Connection Present:
The Mierz Animals Page...

"JARVIS CREEK CRITTERS"

Stony Creek, Connecticut

(this page new as of 9/23/2006)

Quick Navigational Links For This Page:
Overview
Nick (updated 12/28/2006)
Roxy (updated 6/6/2007, 10/5/2012)
Lana (updated 1/22/2014)
Calvin (updated 1/24/2012)
Angelo (updated 12/28/2006, 2/14/2012)
TinyKitty (updated 2/7/2009)
Shay (updated 9/29/2008, 1/24/2012)
James and Curtis (updated 1/24/2012)
A Favorite Holiday Image from years ago (updated 12/10/2007)
A couple more Jarvis Creek Views
Jarvis Creek During Hurricane Irene, 8/28/2011 (updated 1/24/2012)
A New Feature on the Jarvis Creek Landscape, Spring 2013 (updated 5/2/2013)

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For a bit of Background...

Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon, September, 2006, North Haven, CT - Nick and RoxyWe have finally realized that we needed a page to show off our own wonderful pets. Having recently enjoyed participating in The Animal Haven's annual important fundraising event, the "Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon," at the Town Green in North Haven, Connecticut, on Saturday, September 16, 2006, and having had all three of our dogs with us on that bright and clear day, it was a good opportunity to snap a couple of pictures of them for use on this new page project.

This page will likely remain a "work in progress" indefinitely, as I'm sure we'll be thinking up more stuff to add, about our animals. At least we're getting started for now...

The name I chose for this page, "Jarvis Creek Critters," is related to a small ocean inlet, a tidal creek, that is unlabeled on most (but not all) Branford, Connecticut maps I have been able to find, called Jarvis Creek. It runs far enough inland that it actually comes rather close to where we live. In fact, the fresh water swamp that is across the road from our house empties directly into Jarvis Creek (heading over a waterfall, to where it joins the tidal portion). I have not been able to find any references as to who "Jarvis" was, that the creek was apparently named after. Our Animal Connections to Jarvis Creek include not only annual New Years Day Walks with family, where our animals join in, and a wonderful hike (organized by my brother-in-law) affords many views of the Creek and surrounding areas. We've also kayaked down Jarvis Creek itself on one occasion, all the way to the ocean, and back, in a "2-man" open type of kayak, where it was possible to bring a dog along with us (and we did, and she enjoyed it!). And another of our dogs also "christened the waters" of Jarvis Creek, when he plunged through a hole in the ice of the (thankfully shallow) fresh water swamp, when our family was walking across it in the middle of a recent winter (thankfully he came back up quickly, and we got him home and dried off ASAP!).

Here are a couple of maps where Jarvis Creek has been highlighted by me. First, from good old Mapquest, I tuned in our approximate residence location on Saw Mill Road (not "Sawmill Road" as Mapquest has it labeled). So, the red star, of course, indicates our approximate location, on the southeast side of that body of water shown (which is the fresh water swamp mentioned above), and, with red lettering, I've labeled Jarvis Creek. You can view the highlighted Mapquest map at: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/JARVISCREEK/JarvisCreekMapquest.jpg . Second, if you've played around with Google maps a bit, you may be aware that there are some interesting satellite images available. In Google maps parlance, our home location is indicated approximately by a green arrow, and I've again labeled Jarvis Creek, this time with white lettering (but above the Amtrak line, rather than below, like I did for the Mapquest map). You can view the highlighted Google maps satellite image at: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/JARVISCREEK/JarvisCreekSatellite.jpg . It is interesting to note that the Google satellite image must've been generated during the summer, when the fresh water swamp is clogged with lilly pads, since it looks very green. Secondly, it is also interesting to see the expanse of salt marsh (light, treeless area) surrounding Jarvis Creek proper, as visible also on the Google satellite view. You can also go to the "A couple more views of Jarvis Creek" section of this page for a few sample ground-level images. Finally, click HERE to see a really interesting aerial view of Stony Creek from the perspective of the Thimble Islands--and, what do you know, Jarvis Creek is readily visible also (as I highlighted with a red arrow); the source of the original aerial image is regretfully unknown. And we must extend brief but heartfelt tips-of-the-hat here to the Branford Land Trust (http://branfordlandtrust.org/) and the Guilford Land Conservation Trust (http://www.guilfordlandtrust.org/), for all the work they do to preserve and maintain open spaces in Branford & Guilford, respectively, including many in and around the Jarvis Creek area: - Great Jobs BLT & GLCT!

But getting back to The Animal Haven, though none of our dogs are Animal Haven alumni, we know many who are, and it is such a wonderful organization, that does such wonderful work, on the animals' behalf. We do also, however, enjoy having a feline family member, who is an Animal Haven graduate--our beautiful cat known as Calvin. Needless to say, Calvin didn't accompany us to the Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon, and so I had to go into the archives a bit to find a couple of pictures of him to include here.

Calvin & broccoli, October 2005We've found that animals really add so much to your life. They give their unconditional love and want nothing more than to be part of a family. If you're looking for a pet dog or cat to adopt, please give The Animal Haven a try--they're located at 89 Mill Road, in North Haven, CT. More contact info, including their hours, and directions, are provided on their contact page: http://www.theanimalhaven.com/contact.htm .

We consider ourselves very fortunate to live in a wonderul part of the country, close to the Shoreline of Connecticut, in the town of Branford (the Stony Creek section of Branford, to be exact--with Jarvis Creek being located toward the eastern end of Stony Creek). As noted, the dogs get plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors where we live. Calvin, however, is an inside cat, and doesn't seem to mind it a bit.

Though we don't get to do a great deal of other "organized" animal events like the Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon, we do include our pets in as many family activities as possible, including our wintertime family car trips to Florida. One dog event--a collie dog event in particular--that we do make a special point to attend each year, however, is the annual Sunnybank Gathering in Wayne, New Jersey. This event draws enthusiasts of collies, and also of the famous author, Albert Payson Terhune, to the site of Terhune's former homestead, "Sunnybank," which is now a beautiful park on the banks of Pompton Lake. The Sunnybank Gatherings are organized by the Collie Health Foundation, and also help to generate needed funds for that most worthwhile organization. All of our dogs (even the poodle!) come with us to Sunnybank, and we all (humans and canines alike) completely enjoy the experience! Eventually I'd like to get a page together with some of my favorite photos from Sunnybank--I guess that'll be a future project.

Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon, September, 2006, North Haven, CT - Roxy and LanaThere are many other very worthwhile animal-related organizations, publications, projects, and people out there, who we would like to also mention--but so as not to duplicate effort, we would like to direct your attention also to Our Animal Appreciation Page--there is a section of Internet Links on that page that we've been building up over the past several years and so please also make a visit there some time at your convenience--thanks. If you know of any worthwhile animal-related organization that's worth mentioning, and/or adding to the Links section on that page, please also consider sending us along a heads-up--we would be happy to do whatever we can to help spread the word--thanks again.

Anyway, that's about all I can think of in the way of an intro/overview of what Jarvis Creek and our Critters are all about. As previously noted, we'll be adding more here as we get the inspiration and/or time to work on it--so, stay tuned for "the further adventures..."

Thanks for taking the time to visit us--and please consider dropping us a note some time, with any comments about this page, any of our Critters, or any of our documentation of Jarvis Creek (particularly any historical details)--thanks!

Click HERE to send us an e-mail!

Thanks again, The Mierz's, September 23, 2006

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We Proudly Present Our Parade of Champions!

NICK - a.k.a.: "TheBigStinkyGuy"- (BELOW) A truly awesome dog in every way. Nick is a smooth collie, who will be turning 14 years of age in November of 2006. He's incredibly faithful, and also incredibly handsome, if we do say so! He loves his yard, and likes nothing better than to be outside relaxing, "surveying the scene," and barking whenever he feels like it. 12/28/2006 Update: I'm very sad to report that Old Nick went on to the Rainbow Bridge in early December 2006, and we miss him terribly. He was a very special dog and he'll always have a special place in our hearts. Nick lived November 10, 1992 to December 6, 2006. When he became sick in late November, he was given expert and very compassionate veterinary care by the wonderful people of the Guilford Veterinary Hospital, and we thank all of the GVH staff sincerely for all their magnificent efforts on Nick's, and all of our, behalves.

Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon, September, 2006, North Haven, CT - Nick

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ROXY - a.k.a.: "BabyDog" - (BELOW) Full of youthful spirit--perhaps a little too much spirit--but really, she's always in a good mood, and always loves to "add her 2 cents" to any situation. Roxy is a rough collie. She loves to play, and does a great job of engaging Old Nick in "collie play," which we feel also helps to keep him young. She is also a world-class barker. Roxy is 6 years old as of the creation of this page (September 2006; her birthdate was July 22, 2000).

Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon, September, 2006, North Haven, CT - Roxy

Stratford Bard newspaper article, front page, 3/30/2007 edition, "Pet Therapy"6/6/2007 Update: Thanks to President Linda of the Trap Falls Kennel Club, we now have an actual copy of the March 30, 2007 front page of the Stratford Bard newspaper (from Stratford, CT), where little Roxy appeared, in an article that we submitted, on behalf of the TFKC Pet Therapy Program (and the entire TFKC in general--a great bunch of dog enthusiasts). I will include an exact transcription here of the article (bold print below), as it was published (which was slightly edited-down from what I originally submitted), and also, to the RIGHT, a scan of how the article appeared on the front page of the Bard. Also, click HERE to see a high-resolution scan of the article. Yes, that's our son Matt in the shot, doing an obedience demo with Roxy. The date of the photo was March 10, 2007.

Pet Therapy

Members of the Trap Falls Kennel Club's Pet Therapy Group provided an entertaining show of dog obedience and general companionship recently for assembled residents of the Lord Chamberlain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Main Street in Stratford. A variety of dog breeds were present, and the owners gave brief descriptions of their dogs' "specialties" before their respective demonstrations, which included obedience, agility, and even canine teeth cleaning. At the end of the hour-long program in Lord Chamberlain's large meeting room, the dogs and residents had time to socialize and enjoy some snacks. For more information visit the Trap Falls Kennel Club's web site Pet Therapy page: http://www.trapfalls.org/pettherapy.html. Photos and upcoming visit schedules are published.

Thanks to the Stratford Bard for the very nice front page feature, and also to Linda and all of the TFKC, for allowing us to be involved with their most worthwhile Pet Therapy program!

10/5/2012 UPDATES - Very sad to report that Roxy went on to the Rainbrow Bridge today. She had gone downhill very rapidly in the last few weeks, was not happy nor comfortable the past few days, and we knew it was time. She was a one-in-a-million personality for sure, and really a great family member. She was an integral part of our family for so many years, it’s going to be hard not to have her around “keeping order” in the house. Here is a page of some favorite photos of Roxy that I put together (click directly on the hyperlink to bring up the page). We miss you Roxy!

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LANA - a.k.a.: "Lee" - (BELOW) We've never experienced a Miniature Poodle before, and Little Lee has shown us that they're nothing like collies! She is a great companion, and loves to snuggle. She is a beautiful specimen--and she knows it! She hates Roxy--though generally doesn't feel the need to demonstrate that fact unless Roxy happens to get "in her face"--at which time some "air snaps" are administered (which Roxy of course ignores). It's not easy to get a good photo of a 100% black miniature poodle (one that reveals much of their facial expression, anyway), and I'm reasonably happy with how this one came out. Lana is 7 years old as of the creation of this page (September 2006; her birthdate was August 11, 1999).  1/22/2014 Update: I'm very sad to report that Lee went to the Rainbow Bridge on Friday, January 17th, 2014. She lived a long and full life, and was a beloved member of our family for many years.

Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon, September, 2006, North Haven, CT - Lana

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CALVIN - a.k.a.: "C" - Truly, you would be blessed to have a cat as fine as Calvin in your family. He's the most wonderful cat we've ever known. Calvin, as best as we can determine, was born in the Spring of '01, which would make him 5 years of age as of the creation of this page (September 2006). 1/24/2012 Update: I'm very sad to report that we lost Calvin a couple of years ago. The exact date that he went to the Rainbow Bridge was Monday, April 5, 2010. It's not easy losing a cat as great as Calvin. We miss him.

Calvin the cat, October 2005

 

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Angelo Mierz, December 2006ANGELO - What sort of Angel comes along to cheer you up when you are feeling the loss of a very dear old friend like Nick? That would be the newest member of our family, who joined us on December 23, 2006, little Angelo the smooth collie!

Angelo is about 2 and a half years old as of this writing (his birthdate was April 25, 2004), and is a champion, and might've continued his work to produce future generations of beautiful smooth collies, however it was decided by his breeders that this was a good time to find a nice, relaxed, family-type home setting for him to live out his days. Diane's co-worker Tim, from whom we adopted both Nick and Lana, put in a good word for us with Angelo's breeders, and so we went to meet him, and he ended up coming home with us! Roxy was initially being kind of a pain, since he was newly on "her turf," but things have been working out just fine since that first day, and they have become best pals. Lana doesn't pay him much mind (par for the course with her), and Calvin seems very comfortable with him. He's a very nice dog, and rather handsome--though not in a "Nick-like" way, I'd say--Angelo has his own style. Since his arrival at our house, Angelo's gone on many fun woods-hikes on local trails, has established a nice spot on our bed in which to snooze peacefully at night, and also has provided much love and companionship to our family. Angelo is an absolute gem! Click HERE to see a very nice portrait of Angelo that was taken during the balmy early winter that we enjoyed in Stony Creek (date of photo: January 6, 2007 - location: Madeira Park, Stony Creek Village).

Angelo came from "Marchello Collies" in East Haven, and there are a couple of pictures of him on their web site as well: http://www.marchellocollies.com/. We are so thankful to the Karen and Kathy of Marchello Collies for allowing little Angelo to come into our lives!

Angelo Mierz, December 2006

2/14/2012 UPDATES - Would you believe that our humble little Angelo is now an accomplished stage actor?! It happened this past December, when Angelo acted within the Branford High School drama department's production of "12th Night!" The play was tremendous entertainment (believe it or not, Shakespeare's classic was reworked with a circus theme!), and ran for three nights, December 8th, 9th, and 10th, 2011, at the Branford High School auditorium. We got to see the play on opening night (12/8/2011), and snapped a couple of pictures of "Angelo The Wonder Dog" (if you think that billing's an exaggeration, check the program listing! - I've also included a scan of the program booklet cover) in action--including the one directly below. And if you click directly on that image (or HERE), you'll bring up another larger one that I snapped during the final bows--where, if you look closely, Angelo's among the actors on the festive crowded stage (look to the lower right). How cool! Great job Angelo! Great job cast, crew, producers, directors of Branford High School's positively tremendous "12th Night!" It was a night we won't soon forget!

"Angelo The Wonder Dog" on stage in Branford High School's "12th Night" production, 12/8/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a large view of the entire cast taking their bows...

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The Tiny Kitty, January 2009 - click on the image to bring up a similar, higher-resolution image...TINYKITTY - It was back in April of 2008 that The Tiny Kitty (or just "TinyKitty"--and with another new nickname nowthat seems to really fit her well: "Sweetie Pie") came into our lives--so, since she was on the scene well before collie Shay (see the next section below), I feel I should insert her at this place on the page (since we're more or less going chronologically w/regard to dates of joining our family). As the story goes, a former co-worker of Diane's lived in a neighborhood in Milford near the water, and had noticed this particular kitty spending a lot of time outdoors. It appears that this kitty had a litter of kittens at one point, and for whatever reason, one of her kids decided to give her a hard time whenever she came into the house--and so, the little kitty ended up spending more time outside, and also attempting to befriend other neighbors in the area. Diane's co-worker, as it also turns out, had a poodle, and it was noticed that the little kitty would be especially frinedly with the poodle, whenever the poodle was outside, and also attempt to play with the poodle (which apparently wasn't totally appreciated by the poodle). Anyway, long story short, Diane's co-worker made Diane aware of the kitty, and then got in touch with the original owner, who was happy for the chance for the little kitty to go to a new home--which ended up being ours. She arrived in early April, and, while getting accustomed to her new surroundings, there were a few opportunities to take a picture of her, one of which appears BELOW. Soon after that initial period, though, she kind of "disappeared" (not really, but just kind of liked to hang out in far corners of the house, only coming out for food and other calls of nature). It is only lately, as this is being written (early February 2009) that she's really allowing herself to be seen, and as you can see from the image at the UPPER RIGHT, which was snapped late last month, the "life of indoor leisure" has been good to her (as evidenced by her girth!--click HERE or directly on the picture for a similar, higher-resolution view). We never really got settled with a name for her and so she's kind of become known as "TinyKitty" or "TinyBabyKitty," not only due to her small frame, but also her timid nature. Make no mistake, however--she is an extremly beautiful kitty, and her fur is soft like a bunny rabbit's. Calvin is intrigued with her, though he's also careful not to give her too hard of a time. She seems very comfortable with the dogs, including, of course, Lee the poodle (much to Lee's chagrin at times). It's also not quite obvious in the pictures, but she is a "manx" or "bobcat" style kitty, with only a short stub of a natural tail (and we understand that at least one of her kids has the same type of tail). Her age is unknown, but is estimated to be approximately the same as Calvin's, which would make her somewhere around 8 years old as of this writing. In all, we're very happy to have the TinyKitty with us and she happily finally seems to have found her "niche."

The TinyKitty, April 2008

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Shay Mierz, September 2008SHAY - We've always admired people who are courageous and generous enough to adopt adult rescue dogs. By "rescue," I mean a dog that has lost its home, for whatever reason, and needs to find a new one. In the local-area collie network, there are many people who try to help place collies who may find themselves in need of new homes, and in September of '08, we heard, thru the "collie grapevine" (specifically a network of folks from the Hartford-Springfield Collie Club, of which Diane is a member) about a reportedly 12-year-old rough collie girl whose family needed to move to a new home, which unfortunately didn't allow pets. We talked it over as a family, and decided that we would like to do our part and adopt this old girl. So, on the evening of the 11th of September, 2008, our friend Ginny from the local collie club delivered little Shay to our house. What a wonderful addition to our family Shay has been ever since. She is a very pretty girl with a very sweet disposition. She seems very happy to be in her new family. The other animals have also accepted her (though, as you might expect, Roxy has taken a few opportunities to "let Shay know who the Boss of the house is...but in truth, especially as time goes on, there seems to be pretty much a harmonious situation). Shay seems to be hard of hearing, but not completely deaf. She seems to enjoy going on walks with "the gang," and loves to sniff and explore. The photo at the ABOVE RIGHT was taken on the second day that Shay was with us (September 12th), and the photo BELOW was taken one day later, on September 13th (we heard she liked to sleep in a crate, but we've since put the crate away, and Shay sleeps on a regular dog bed--or wherever else she may choose, just like everyone else). Click HERE for another photo of Shay and Roxy enjoying some "R&R."

Shay has taught us to think of the rescue dog whenever you may be thinking of a new pet. She may need an occacional carry to get down the stairs (don't forget that she is 12 years old, or thereabouts), but, really, she's a trouble-free pet (try saying that about a puppy!), is happy to be with us, and we're so happy to have her. Thanks again to Ginny and all of the local collie folks who helped Shay become a part of our family. If that's not a happy little face, I don't know what is!

1/24/2012 Update: I'm very sad to report that we lost Shay early last year. The exact date she went to the Rainbow Bridge was Tuesday, March 29, 2011. We never knew exactly how old she was, but I think we can say that she enjoyed her time with us, and we definitely enjoyed our time with her. She was always the gracious & content pet, happy just to be a part of the family. We miss you little Shay!

Shay Mierz, September 2008

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JAMES AND CURTIS - Around the time of the sad loss of our beloved Calvin a couple of years ago, two more wonderful guys, who we guess are brothers, came into our family. Their names are James and Curtis. They are very similar in size. James is black with a few white highlights (paws, bib, and whiskers), while Curtis is totally and completely black. We don't know their ages either. They just kind of showed up at a relatives' house in Guilford, and when that family realized could not keep them, we were asked if we had "room at the inn."They are alike and different at the same time. Curtis is reserved and cerebral, while James is overt and goofy. Curtis is sleek and glossy; James is more fuzzy and slightly unkempt. They like to hang around together, and occasionally tormet their little sister Sweetie Pie for the sport of it. Below is a picture of James (left) and Curtis (right) from April of 2011, and you can click HERE to see another photo of the two of them, "enjoying the scenery" in May of 2011.

James and Curtis, April 15, 2011

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A Favorite Holiday Image from years ago (this section was added as of 12/10/2007)

BELOW: Here is a favorite image that goes well with the Christmas season. It features two of our collies who have since gone on to the "Rainbow Bridge"--Nick (11/10/92 to 12/6/2006) on the left and Megan (2/19/89 to 12/17/01) on the right--and also our lovable and spirited Roxy (born 7/22/2000) in the center. The car they're posing in is our old '70 VW Squareback (not exactly gone to the Bridge, but definitely with new owners as of this writing also). The photo, which I've scanned from a print for use here, I believe is from the fall of 2001 (from our 2001 family Christmas card photo session). Megan was our first collie and taught us so much about what a wonderful breed they are, and what a special dog she was. And of course Nick was such a regal presence. We miss them both greatly (there is a wonderful memorial page about Megan and Nick that is hosted by the Guilford Vet Hospital: http://guilfordvet.wordpress.com/2006/12/31/nick-and-megan/. And as is evident, brash little Roxy just waiting for the next opportunity to bark and have some fun! I hope you enjoy the shot, and I wish you and your family all the best for the holidays!

Collies in a 1970 VW Squareback - Merry Christmas!

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A couple more Jarvis Creek Views...

BELOW: It was Thursday afternoon, September 21, 2006, when I got out to Leetes Island Road (a.k.a. CT Route 146), right where Jarvis Creek passes under it, with my camera. Jarvis Creek does have a nice little sign by the roadside that identifies it. I added a slightly color-enhanced close-up of it to the very top right of this page, and the view below incorporates the same sign in the foreground, with some of the background being the view of the remaining tidal portion of Jarvis Creek that is north of Leetes Island Road (the waterfall is just beyond this area--in fact you can see a bit of the bridge that crosses the freshwater swamp above the waterfall in the middle of this view--that bridge is part of Saw Mill Road).

Jarvis Creek, September 21, 2006, looking north

BELOW: I'm still standing on the edge of Leetes Island Road, but now looking kind of southeast, to take in some of the expansive salt marsh that is south of the roadway, and still north of the Amtrak line At the approximate left-center of this view is the trestle where the Amtrak line crosses over Jarvis Creek. If you click HERE you can see a slightly zoomed-in view of this same area, with the Amtrak trestle more visible. Again, these shots were from Thursday afternoon, September 21, 2006.

Jarvis Creek, September 21, 2006, looking south & slightly east

BELOW: The New Year's Day Walk that was referenced in the Overview portion also usually presents many unique picture-taking opportunities. The particular view below shows people and animals crossing the "Spillway" that is south of the Amrak line. The date of this and the following picture was Sunday, January 1, 2006. The Spillway (as I call it) is a concrete structure that sort of "connects" two land peninsulas. I imagine it must have been used at some point in history to control the water level of Jarvis Creek. If you look back at the Satellite View of Jarvis Creek, I've labeled the Spillway location. I found it labeled as a "Dam" on the "Walking map of the Stony Creek Trail" that is located online at: http://www.branford-ct.gov/Walking%20Stony%20Creek.htm (or if that link doesn't work, go to the main Town of Branford page - http://www.branford-ct.gov/ - and look for the "Branford Walking Trails" link on the pull-down menu beneath the "Branford Living" category on the menu bar--then click on "Stony Creek" at the lower right corner of the overall map of the Branford Walking Trails).

Crossing the Jarvis Creek Spillway, Sunday, January 1, 2006

BELOW: And finally, one more view from the 2006 New Year's Day Walk--my brother-in-law Rob from Guilford, who organizes the New Year's Day Walks (it should also be noted that Rob serves as a Director of the Guilford Land Conservation Trust, and is actively involved with many of their outdoor activities and projects), is at the left and my sister-in-law Pat from Branford is at the right. I was facing directly south with my camera to take this picture of Rob & Pat, standing at the edge of a rock outcropping right by the Jarvis Creek Spillway that's pictured above. If you refer back to the Mapquest Map of Jarvis Creek, it appears the little island that's directly beyond Rob and Pat is called "Bear Island."

Looking south from the Jarvis Creek Spillway, Sunday, January 1, 2006, with Rob (left) and Pat (right).

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Jarvis Creek During Hurricane Irene, Sunday, August 28, 2011 (this section was added as of 1/24/2012)

"Jarvis Creek" sign on Route 146 almost completely submerged, Sunday, August 28, 2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger uncropped versionWow, what a day. I had heard that high tide was going to be around 11am that day, and so made a brief walk out to where Saw Mill Road, Route 146, and Jarvis Creek all approximately intersect, and of course brought my camera with me. In so doing, I was taking a break from an unbelievable chainsawing & clearing task in my own yard, thanks to several major limbs plus one entire full-size hardwood tree, that had all come down overnight in the unbelievably strong winds (thankfully none of which impacted either our house nor our vehicles). It was not a happy day--but we also knew that it could have been a lot worse. The so-called "storm surge" added onto the high tide; I've heard it explained that the storm was effectively pushing more water up into Long Island Sound, which made for tide levels dramatically over normal expectations (and that's an understatement). There were many homes right on the shoreline that sustained major damage--or even disintegration (from some of the news reports out of some of the beach areas in East Haven, for example). The shots shown here in this section, I've chosen to highlight with red arrows. The red arrow in both shots (far view to the right and slightly zoomed-in below) indicate the "Jarvis Creek" small metal roadside sign that appears in a couple of other images on this page (including at the very top header). Note how it was almost completely submerged at the time I took my pictures (and I've since heard from other local residents that it was completely submerged at one point). And click directly on either of the images (or HERE) to see a larger format copy of this same photo, without any cropping (my vantage point for this photo was Saw Mill Road, near the cluster of residents' mailboxes, and facing approximately southwest). Amazing. You can read more about Hurricane Irene on the dedicated Wikipedia page. And here are a couple more of my shots from the same photo session, as hyperlinks you can click on: The stop sign at corner of Sawmill and Route 146 - and Looking west up Route 146 (in the direction of the center of Branford). I hope we don't experience this again in our lifetimes...

"Jarvis Creek" sign on Route 146 almost completely submerged, Sunday, August 28, 2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger uncropped version

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A New Feature on the Jarvis Creek Landscape, Spring 2013 (this section was added as of 5/2/2013)

We have seen this structure getting constructed over the past several months, just to the east of Jarvis Creek, right near the Branford/Guilford town line, and near where Route 146 takes that radical turn under the railroad tracks (speed limit right there I think is 15 mph). The structure is up on a hill, and just to the north side of the railroad tracks. Can you guess what it is? See the image below that I took on Wednesday afternoon, May 1st, 2013 (looks like high tide), from a little dirt turnoff where sometimes cars park to view the osprey platforms out in the marsh, probably about a mile west of the structure, indicated with an arrow in the image below:

New structure visible on the Jarvis Creek landscape, Spring 2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...

Turns out it is a cell phone tower! And apparently it is disguised to look like one of those old-time water towers! Click directly on the image above (or HERE) to bring up a larger, uncropped copy of this same shot (but without the arrow). And here is one more closer view that I shot from the same location, using the zoom feature of my camera. Looks a little bit like the "Petticoat Junction" water tower, perhaps?! Probably no pretty girls (& pooch) bathing in it, though... And this isn't Hooterville, and the trains that drive past it probably go a little faster than the "Cannonball"...

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