Monday, June 22, 2009

After all the rain

The Chemung River is running high. Every large tree that had planted itself in the bed is now perched on the spillover dam in downtown Elmira, NY, USA.
Even the geese are someone reluctant to swim out to the channels. Waterfowl can simply let the current take them downstream, no effort at all.
The Grove Street River Access boat ramp is more than half submerged. Humans do not take their boats on the Chemung when she's like this. In the past few weeks we have had a few full-scale rescues: lucky people who are now believers when we say the river is too dangerous for swimmers.
And yes, there are more uprooted trees floating downriver to replace the ones we lost this weekend.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Riverfest Saturday

Well, no, we didn't attend. For one thing, it was a very sunny, bright day, and I hoped to find shade in the woods behind Pirrozzolo Park.
The Park itself was very busy with baseball games of various levels, all vigorously supported by adoring, very loud, families. The Trails, as we call them, were quieter, and we walked them, touching the river whenever it wasn't too difficult to climb down the banks.
All the while we watched, and were watched by, the Float participants. They were peering into the woods as we peered out.
The ruined bridge at Roricks Glen became a popular staging area, with paddlers waiting for their buddies in the shallows.
Except for a few fishermen, the paths were an almost silent refuge. Here and there, noise crows or blackbirds livened things.
The lushness of the vegetation this time of year never ceases to astound me. Deep, moist and utterly green, the hills of Chemung County tempt me to quit my job and camp out for the rest of my life.
If I could only do the sort of hiking required, I would almost never return home for more than a few minutes at a time. As it stands, I am only good for 90 minutes maximum, then it's back to base for a much-needed nap.