The world is full of illusions, such as water swelling a river during a storm. Most of us do not immediately visualize the Monocacy River, for instance, as the normally languid flow of Willoughby Run begins to quicken and turn brown. Marsh Creek begins to assault, and occasionally overrun its boundaries, the phenomenon visible mostly only to those of us who live on low ground near the stream.

About 90 minutes after a heavy rain begins to fill the streets off Fairfield Road in Cumberland Township, a water gauge in Bridgeport, Maryland, a short distance from where Rock and Marsh Creeks join to create the Monocacy, begins to show a sharp rise in the river’s depth and flow.

John Messeder is a member of the board of the Watershed Alliance of Adams County. His email addressis WAAC’s website,, contains information about joining, contributing, or volunteering.

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