A wrung-out sponge, er Cienega

September 16, 2009 § 1 Comment

A 121-year old voice from the past:

Cienega supplying Ballona Creek.

West of the city of Los Angeles, at the foot of the low hills next to the sea coast, there are large cienegas covering several hundred acres, from which issues Ballona Creek, carrying in May last 8.6 cubic feet per second, and irrigating about 500 acres of land.  This creek discharges directly to the sea a few miles south of Santa Monica, and was probably at one time the main channel of the Los Angeles river. The flow ofthe stream is said to be but little affect by druth (sp?) but is considerably increased during and immediately after the rainy season.  In very dry seasons when cattle go into the cienega to feed upon the marsh growth the flow of water is said to be increased, the trampling of their feet apparently squeezing out the water as one would wring a saturated sponge.

Attributed to Schuyler, from the State Engineer, William Hamilton Hall’s papers, General Irrigation Information, Reports, Los Angeles County.  Date approximately 1888.

Sounds like our old Ballona peat bogs before they dried up!


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