An earthquake on Tuesday (August 23, 2011).

A hurricane on Saturday & Sunday (August 27-28, 2011).

And Little Crum Creek isn’t any worse for wear.

The earthquake shook ground up and down the east coast, felt here by some but not by others.

Meanwhile Hurricane Irene pruned a lot of leaves and dead branches along these banks, bent a few small trees, and flattened some weeds.

But, despite over 5 inches falling, the creek itself didn’t rise so high in the steady rain. Nor did Ridley Lake, just downstream in Ridley Park.

As a short stream, just over 3 miles long, Little Crum Creek is flashy and fills more dramatically in heavy rainfall over a shorter period of time.  In fact, it rose higher in a storm nearly two weeks ago (August 15, 2011) than it did in Irene.

Surrounding streams, however, accumulating more runoff over greater distances, responded more dramatically to the hurricane.  Darby Creek, Ridley Creek, and Crum Creek (into which the Little Crum flows) each flooded its banks in places.

Lots of folks stopped by the falls of Crum Creek, along Yale Avenue in Swarthmore PA, to see this unusually high flow of water over the old stone dam.

Hopefully, you can get a sense of the water’s response to Irene in this video of comparative views from the falls at different rates of flow:


Today is sunny and calm.

Little Crum Creek resumes its normal variations.

New post in a couple days or so.



The 14th Annual Streams Cleanup is here!

Join volunteers on Saturday, May 7th, from 9  to 11:30 am, at one of several sites in the Chester, Ridley, and Crum Creek watersheds. 

There are even two sites along Little Crum Creek:  Ridley Park Lake & Swarthmore’s Little Crum Creek Park.

Simply find a full listing of cleanup sites here.

Then register to attend one here

You can also contact the CRC Watersheds Association at 610-892-8731 or

Free t-shirt and picnic afterward at Ridley Creek State Park – Pavilion 8.


Since surrounding trees have all gone green, several sycamores on lawns along Little Crum Creek are conspicuously bare these days.  

Their shriveled brown leaves seem to be symptomatic of sycamore anthracnose.  The fungus apiognomonia veneta winters on the trees and spreads by wind and rain during early spring’s cool wet weather, accounting for defoliage seen around Delaware County. 

I’m told that our ailing sycamores should naturally recover as the temperature warms.  Look for them to re-leaf sometime in late June or July.  Otherwise, severely affected sycamores might need professional treatment, probably early next spring, after an accurate diagnosis.  In the meantime, we’ll continue to clean up and maintain our sycamores, as we’re well used to doing! 


Affected sycamore along Crum Creek


Unaffected sycamore near Little Crum Creek

Suddenly, it is spring.  Along Little Crum Creek, yards are bursting with the green from trees and wild ground mulch of autumn’s leaves.  This is happening all over southeastern PA.  So maybe this hidden little share of the creek between suburban rows of homes is easy to overlook.  But there is so much to see!