The installation of 18 strings of telephone/telegraph wires is now finished.
I noticed that over time the strings seem to straighten themselves out without my intervention.
After about a year and a half of looking at the creek, I just didn't like the results. The problem I found with "Mod Podge" (described previously to create ripples in the water) was that over time the surface becomes very dull. I thought it was just dust, but even after I thoroughly cleaned it, even waxed it, the surface remained dull. I won't be using that method again. I also wanted more of a creek feel and, since this is near the source of the creek, I wanted to be able to see the bottom of the creek. The bottom, of course, needs to be littered with rocks and gravel. I just didn't know how to effectively model that. One day I was working with vermiculite when I realized that it actually looks like scaled-down gravel. I covered the previous layer of the creek with a layer of vermiculite. Down the center of the creek I carefully distributed some Arizona Rock & Minerals' N-scale PRR ballast which seemed to create a more well-worn path of finer gravel. Next, I strategically placed some colorful rocks (as mentioned above) in areas of the creek where water speed would be slower. You can see what it looked like at this point in the photo below. The creek looks like a dry-river bed. If you're modeling a desert area, you'd be done!
The next step was to lightly spray some water followed by thinned white glue to firmly glue everything down. I also started putting down some more scenery materials around the creek. Most of that was also glued down in a similar manner, so it was better to do that now before proceeding with the creek.
I let the glue dry overnight. The next day I mixed about a half a gallon of Envirotex Lite and poured it on the creek. This gave me about 3/8" of "water".
The view of the creek toward the right-hand side.
In the shadow of the trees you can see the creek bottom. In person, the creek looks very real. I am a lot happier with version 2 of the creek. When hobby funds allow, I plan to buy another set of 32 ounces of Envirotex Lite and add another layer of "water". Some of the larger rocks stick out above the water, but my intent was to have them be below the surface. I also want to insert some swimmers embedded in the next layer.
In some of the hard-to-reach areas I didn't get enough glue down and so some of the vermiculite floated while the Envirotex was drying. However, as it turns out all of the places where this happened were near where "pond scum" would reside anyway. This is a close-up photo of one such area. If you don't want this effect, make sure that everything is glued down and also consider vacuuming the area (I didn't do that).
The center section of the layout is coming along nicely. This is very close to what I had in mind when I started this layout. Also note that more trees pop up from time to time. I had built another set of trees to be used for our club's layout at a show, and decided to move them to my layout. Most of the ones in the foreground are not glued to the layout, so I can pull them out when it is time for another show.