Posts Tagged ‘riverine’

high water bottleman, 5/09

My latest figure made from river junk comes at a time when the river is getting higher.  We have had a lot of rain today and so for the next few days the river should continue to rise.  When you live on the Ohio River, this is important information.  For example, the morning talk was of a small fishing boat going over the Falls that needed rescuing…that and a large white pelican was sighted again.  Might be the same bird from two years ago.  Didn’t hear anything else about the fisherman…hope they are ok.

high water and interpretive center, 5/09

foot of steps, high water, 5/09

Two views looking east…the top shows the interpretive center and the steps leading to the river.  The next shot is from the foot of the steps themselves.  It should be interesting to see how high up the steps the rising river level will creep. During the Great Flood of 1997 the river completely climbed the steps.  This event shouldn’t be that bad.  Fishing has been great with lots of anglers catching striper hybrids, catfish, skipjacks, and an occassional sauger.  Did see many large carp trying to leap over the fixed wier dam as in classic salmon pictures. 

Bottle man, 5/09

I moved the Bottleman to another location to get a better sense of his context.  A couple days ago, you could walk by the trees that are now submerged.  Most of the fossil rock formations are underwater.  The Bottleman is on some sort of mission just one step ahead of the river.

heron and fridge, 5/09

Took a little time to do some birding and had some success.  Saw my first Black-headed Blue Warbler, male and female traveling together.  They were here and gone before I could get a snapshot.  I did, however, find this Great Blue Heron fishing from floating logs as an abandoned refrigerator went by.  Years ago, when I first started this project, I found a refrigerator lodged in the top of a tree and I couldn’t believe the river could get that high.  Other notable birds…lots of Magnolia Warblers, various thrushes, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Great Crested Flycatchers, Indigo Buntings, and a few Scarlet Tanagers were still around.  Double-crested Cormorants were fishing all along the river and close to shore.

bottleman and stash, 5/09

This is where I left the Bottleman by a log with a large hole in the side.  Perfect for stashing away plastic bottles in case of an emergency.  The figure is made from pink insulation foam, regular polystyrene, hickory nuts for eyes, part of a walnut husk for a mouth, wood, plastic bottlecap nose, and a fork for emphasis.  He’s near the water and probably gone by now.  The logs rolling over one another in the water made the strangest creaking and squeaking noise and reminded me of my father grinding his teeth in his sleep.  We will see how high the river gets and if that pelican hangs around.

Read Full Post »

rising river, 5/09

rising river 5/09

It’s been raining upriver from us and so what happens in the northeast eventually flows down.  More rain is expected and so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the water completely cover the fixed wier dam that forms the park’s eastern boundry.  Massive piles of driftwood and debris are getting ready to flood the area under the Conrail Railroad Bridge.  Every time the river rises the landscape of the park gets rearranged and creates new novelties.  I was looking over recent images and found I had taken several shots of tree roots that speak not only of the power of water, but the tenacity of trees as well. 

black willow roots, 4/09

These are the roots from a black willow tree.  This is an amazingly tough tree that grows in the poorest soil (essentially clay mud and sand) and frequently gets completely submerged during a flood.

cottenwood roots, 5/09

The writhing roots from a cottonwood tree.  At the moment, fluff from these trees is drifting like dry snow through the air.

tree roots, 4/09

I believe this is a cottonwood tree as well.  I marvel at how the river will undermine a tree along the bank.  In places, canopies are created and you can sit underneath the roots of a tree which comes in handy when it rains or on very hot days. 

roots and frayed barge rope, 5/09

All these exposed roots are good catch-alls for whatever the river sends their way.  This tree has snagged a bit of frayed barge rope or cable.  Originally, these ropes are about as thick around as a man’s forearm.  The river has no problem dealing with them.  We will see how high the river gets.  I’m looking forward to making new works in this rearranged environment.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: