Friday, September 30, 2011

Continuing the Recovery from Irene

About 7:30 this morning, I took this photo of the Rock River looking upstream from my home. The harshness of the  new and wide river bed is softened in the fogging morning as the sun begins to warm the hillside and burn off the mist. There was a mysterious, almost surreal atmosphere to the scene.

In the downriver direction, the scene was also mysterious and surreal in the foggy morning light, but also with a reality disconnect. Heavy equipment began working to remove sand and rocks from the river bed and put the river "back where it belongs." Rivers have their own life, and I am not sure it really "belongs" any particular place as it moves through the valley. But people have been living in this valley for 200 years and they have made many changes to the river and expect it to respect those changes. Such "respect" might be imposed, but never permanently.

With that philosophical musing out of the way, I am delighted that the work has begun, surreal as it may appear in the foggy light of morning.

The task moves along, and by 10 am, there are noticeable changes. By "putting the river back," there will be protection for roads and bridges in the immediate area and further downstream. Personally, it will also mean that the unstable 20' bluff in the back of my home will be stabilized, protecting property and people.

The same scene as the first photograph at 10:30 am. Though this is very different from the river I have lived with for many years, we are slowly becoming customized to the change. There is greenery, and hints of the changing colors.

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