Dear Blog Followers and Tweeters -
Last week for the first time in 12 years, I did not have a column (Tailfeathers) in the Brattleboro Reformer.
Hurricane Irene hit my little village of South Newfane with extreme fury (Photos below), washing out large sections of all roads into the village, destroying and damaging bridges, destroying and damaging many homes. The Rock River and the Marlboro Branch cut new channels and changed course in many places.
I was fortunate. I was in Philadelphia with family. My home had no damage, but about 35 feet of our yard disappeared, including the leach field for our septic system. I made a brief visit to South Newfane last week when a bridge was temporarily made passable and contact with the village reestablished. I will return to Vermont again this week to begin work with an engineer on a new septic system, and to help in the community where possible.
Birding is on hold for the moment. Column writing, blogging, and photography all have writer’s block, blog block, and photo block.
Please be patient. Keep me on your list and check back from time to time.
The bridge abutment washed out and one end collapsed. But the bridge structure was still sound. Remarkably, this became the place where South Newfane was reconnected with the rest of the state. A sand and gravel ramp was built from the bridge to the road surface. (Photo from the facebook.com/NewfaneBulletin - a page put up a day after the flood to provide information and connection for people)
Dover Road east of the green iron bridge. The river's edge was just to the right of the photo. (Photo from CVPS, I think)
Further east on the Dover Road where the Rock River tried to cut a new oxbow. The river channel, pre-storm, was about 50-60' to the right of the photo (Photo from VPR, I think)
Our backyard along the new river's edge. Pre-storm, the river bank was to the left of the photo, with a huge old willow tree at the bottom left corner, just outside the current photo. The part of the river seen in this photo was a pine covered slope.
From what I have learned, engineers feel the river will want to reclaim its previous bed and that its new banks are unstable. Heavy equipment is working in the river to put the river back in its old banks.
When I have the opportunity I will post a few additional photos, and hopefully before too long, will be back to the birds.