Rivers Running Through It

It’s been rainy around these parts. Supposedly, it’s been one of the more significant rain events in the last five years or so. Check out the local rainfall totals!

So not surprisingly, our rivers were slightly swollen. The Mad River, near where I live, spilled its banks. Generally a placid, mirror-like body of water during the non-rainy season, the river turned into an angry chocolate milk torrent yesterday.

Mad River Last Month

Mad River Last Month

Mad River Yesterday

Mad River Yesterday

Start of the Arcata Bottoms section of the Hammond Trail

Start of the Arcata Bottoms section of the Hammond Trail

Yesterday's view of the Arcata Bottoms

Yesterday’s view of the Arcata Bottoms

There were lots of people coming and going to check out the river flooding. There were also people arriving [like bicyclists, who rely on this bridge as the only non-highway crossing of the river] who were surprised the way was blocked.

We sat along the edge and watched the water slowly rise. There were thousands of little insects climbing out of the water like shipwreck survivors. I tried to save as many as I could, but I was stepping on as many as I was pulling out of the water.

Eventually, movement pulled my eyes away from the drama of the bugs. Something had caught the stranded cows’ attention; their heads collectively whipped in one direction. Three deer started swimming through the flood water.

Oddly, they didn’t take the straightest route to dry land, but instead took apparently the straightest to where they ultimately wanted to head.

Three Black-tailed Deer

Three Black-tailed Deer

They started bounding through the water, almost as if showing off for the cows. They reached the first fence-line and the doe went under and then jumped the second. The buck wasn’t so clever.

Doe Jumps the Second Fence

Doe Jumps the Second Fence

Buck Jumps Too Early

Buck Jumps Too Early

Buck Bounces Off Fence

Buck Bounces Off Fence

The buck bounced backward off the fence, apparently misjudging his obstacle, but seemed unharmed physically. My favorite part of that whole sequence is the herd of cows watching the whole debacle.

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5 thoughts on “Rivers Running Through It

  1. Flooding always amazes me. It leaves clear traces on the physical landscape, like floodplains and high water lines, yet though I can look at a river a thousand times and know it will flood, it still is mind-boggling when it does.

    • It really is mind-boggling. Most of the river channels are deeply carved around here, yet in ’64 they all flooded. I’ve seen photos, but I can’t comprehend it.

  2. We live in the same neck of the woods, Shaina! We’re up here in Smith River.

    Love your blog; it’s good to know others are around to get to know!

    I’ve left my blog URL with you.

    Have a great New Year!

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