Cherry Saturday, September 28, 2019

Today is Rivers Day.

I have a thing for rivers. I grew up on a little one, the Auglaize in Ohio. Then I lived on a big one in Ohio, the Ohio River. And now I live on a former river, dammed up to make a lake. Somebody once told me that you’re either a mountain or an ocean person, and as far as I’m concerned, you can have both, I want rivers, working rivers with barges, peaceful rivers with shore birds, tiny rivers you can step across, huge rivers that take your breath way (the Ohio is a marvel and I miss it). So why a Rivers Day? Because like everything else on our planet, they’re under threat. We need our rivers, and today is the day to remember that.

It’s Rivers Day. Go look at one and feel better and then see if you can do something to preserve it, please.

40 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, September 28, 2019

  1. A tiny creek ran past my first childhood home. Catfish lived in. Water-skeeters skated on parts if it. I loved the creek.

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  2. Well, if this doesn’t bring back memories. Growing up in the early 1950’s we lived in the suburbs of Boston not to far from the Charles River. When the weather was warm we would wait for my father to come home from work and have dinner, then all of us would head out for a walk to the Charles and play on the banks while my parents watched. We weren’t allowed to go in I think because polio was then a current threat if memory serves. The vaccine was discovered not to long after this memory, but by then my father had bought a car and our adventures took us to the pond in the Blue Hills Reservation on hot Sundays and drive-ins on hot nights.

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    1. Evidently, it’s either water or heights, oceans or mountains. I remember the first time I saw a real desert, the kind that stretches out empty for miles, I thought it felt like the ocean only calmer and I loved it.

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  3. I live in the Rhine. I look out of my bedroom (and kitchen) window and see the ruin of an 11th century castle, a late Victorian folly (think Neuschwanstein but smaller and less towers), the vineyards that produce our “house” wine (“Grauburgunder” which is Pinot Grigio), and, most importantly, the ships and barges that carry goods and people up and down the river. It’s a bit low now, but when it’s higher, there may be two or three passing each other at the same time. It’s a watery highway.

    When we had a drought last year, it got so low that the ferries carrying commuters across the river didn’t run (after WWII only some bridges were rebuilt in our stretch, there are ferries every few miles) and gasoline prices went up because the barges couldn’t navigate.

    Right now it’s low enough that we have plenty of traffic but also sandy beaches. Had stepdaughter and granddaughter (2 yrs) for a visit last weekend and the little one enjoyed the sand and collecting mussel and clam shells, while we lolled in the sun and watched rowers sail by. We even found bits of a crab, with a pincer just like in her animal book. She thought that was too cool.

    The river is alive day and night and we enjoy being here.

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    1. Oops. I live ON the Rhine, not in it. Although our house is in the floodplain and has stood in water, but before our time. (It’s built to withstand the floods and other measures have been taken to reduce flooding along the river, so we’ve had high water but nothing that has threatened us since we’ve lived here.)

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      1. 🙂 Apropos of nothing – Your comment of In the Rhine reminded me of a humourous summary of Wagner’s The Ring Cycle which starts off describing the opening number as being sung In the Rhine.

        It sent me off on a hunt, but since I can’t for the life of me remember _who_ was doing the narration, which included singing all the parts that she could, Google let me down & I couldn’t find it. Catherine was her first name I think.

        Can anybody here help me out with this? I think she was English. I think the recording was done in the 1970’s? 1980’s?

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    2. That’s what I miss about living on the Ohio. The barges would go by every day, and sometimes there would be a steamboat. It was wonderful.

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  4. I was born in Prince George, the centre of the province, where two rivers intersected. We were never allowed to get too close, only to stand on the banks and look down. There is a great iron railway bridge with traffic lanes on each side which crosses the Fraser river. Iconic image of my home town.

    My aunt lived at Nukko lake where we would go “exploring” through the woods. We found a little creek trickling through the forest. Tall evergreen trees, rich mossy ground and the proverbial rays of sun streaking through. It was beautiful.

    I moved to Vancouver where the Fraser river empties into the Pacific Ocean. There are mountains and rivers and ocean. Pretty spectacular and lucky to live here.

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    1. Vancouver is a spectacular city! I’m lucky enough to spend Christmas there every year with family. Oceans and rivers and mountains, oh my!

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    2. I live in Vancouver too. I don’t see the Fraser river from my window, but if I walk for 15 minutes, there is a dog park on the shore. There are dogs playing in the grass, and traffic on the river. Sometimes, those long-long log rafts, carrying timber, go down the current, usually accompanied by a team of small boats steering them. And there are lots and lots of blackberry bushes in that park. Yummy, when they ripe.

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    3. (Waves from Burrard Inlet of the Pacific, part of Vancouver)

      I took a weekend from the kids years ago and sat In my hotel room just above river level watching the traffic along the Fraser River for most of two days. It was wonderful. Vancouver has rivers and lakes and mountains and the ocean and I adore it here.

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  5. What an odd converging of events. Today, I picked up ‘The Lazy Teacher’s Handbook” and one of the first group lesson cartoons is of everyone in the class learning about rivers.

    I finally got myself to the gym to start my medically approved training programme. I think that I can see this through. It’s not about fitness, vanity, or achieving points or miles, but about my actual health. So here’s to sticking to it because I have a great reason. 🥂

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    1. My guy discovered that he has really bad curvature of the spine. The doctor started him on a physical therapy regime. After three months of daily exercises (he only does about 20 minutes. He says the whole routine would take 2 hours -probably an exaggeration), and bitching about how physical therapy is consuming his life without doing ANYTHING FOR HIM, he has said just this week that his back hurts less and he is getting a lot stronger. So it takes a while to see some effect. Although my friend who had an incident with her back, said she felt relief after about 3 weeks (she probably did the whole therapy routine, not the much abbreviated one my guy does).

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  6. I’ve got my niece and her partner staying for a couple of nights, and we’ve just been to Shrewsbury, because Dan had never been there. Had a lovely walk along the avenue of tall trees on the bank of the Severn. It was quite full, and flowing fast, after the recent rain. Dan was impressed. I did enjoy living alongside it – especially the ripples of gold reflected on my ceiling.

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  7. I love the rivers that run along the roads in the mountains when I’m driving to/from Middlebury College (Vermont) for reunions, etc.

    I’m looking for a new place to live (although probably won’t be able to move for another two years), and I’ve decided I’m probably not willing to pay the premium for lake waterfront property (the kind that has a dock I’d never use, but a view would be nice), and I definitely don’t want to be too close to the ocean (rising sea levels and hurricanes), but I would love to have the view of a small pond or creek.

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  8. Growing up my main group of friends and affiliation was with Girl Scouts. We had canoes and would canoe on lakes primarily but at least once a year would go on float trips on the Buffalo or White rivers in Arkansas. We called ourselves river rats and it was absolutely magical. This was 50+ years ago. I missed the first Arab-Israeli war because I was on a float trip that lasted a week. I love rivers.

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  9. Thanks to your topic of the day, I realized I have always been close to rivers. School days at the week end we would walk along the Esplanade beside the River Tay in Dundee, Scotland.
    Married we moved to Vancouver (Canada) and would take the walk along the Fraser river.
    Now (much older) we live in Nanaimo an can walk along the waterfront and look at all the boats.
    We are obviously river people.
    Thank you Jenny for bringing back the very happy memories.

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    1. Oh that’s a great walk. Drove up Island two weekends ago. Two huge eagles swooped down in front of our car. Then we had to wait over two hours at Duke Point coming home. Lovely breezes off the ocean.

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  10. I love rivers. I love rivers in books. Welcome to Temptation has that lovely river with fish stink, so important to the plot. Bujold’s Sharing Knife series has the Grace, the Gray, and the Hardboil Rivers, which are the Mississippi and its tributaries. Wrede’s Frontier Magic is all about the magic barrier on that same Miss, called the Mammoth River, and its tributary which is actually the main watercourse (the Missouri, which also has an in-story name). Farmer’s To Your Scattered Bodies Go, AKA Riverworld.

    I grew up near the Thames River in Connecticut. I returned to that river as an adult, stationed at the Submarine Base. When I was married, we bought a boat and motored up and down the navigable part, which wasn’t much at all, but CT has a lot of lakes. The boat got used. We even took it out into the Lawn Guyland Sound, as far as Mystic.

    I like rivers. 🙂

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  11. I live about a mile from the Susquehanna River, as the crow flies. Fortunately, I’m too high to get flooded. Because of the flood regulations and buyouts of flood-prone properties, we’re developing more walking/biking paths and it’s always wonderful to go over our bridges.
    Many people, after loving their riverviews and getting flooded once too often, have become ‘mountain’ people. Can’t say I blame them.

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  12. I saw the blog title, and thought River Song and River Tam. Apparently my brain run a bit differently. Lol.

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  13. I’ve accepted that I’m a sea level person. Any mountainous place too high and open and I find myself phobic and gasping. Grand Canyon type trips just leave me shaky. I discovered this soon after I had a child. Many years later I read an article that pregnancy type hormonal changes can trigger phobias. Expansion bridges make me uncomfortable but I don’t have issues with high rise buildings. I also grew up along the Hudson River and my kids are under orders to sprinkle my ashes off one of the bridges. So I agree most folks are either/or.

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  14. I realised a few years ago that the places I have lived least happily have been those with little to no water nearby. The dry bush town I grew up in, Melbourne (where the river is mostly ignorable), and the place my parents live now, which is on the side of a mountain range. It’s a sharp contrast to Brisbane, Sydney, the other (even smaller) bush town with the weir, and even Canberra, which has a river and a lake. I like the mountains, but apparently I need water to enjoy living somewhere.

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  15. When we were kids my brother and I used to love to make dams in streams. Building new waterways with rocks.
    I never outgrew it. Whenever I see moving water I have a powerful urge to change its course. This does not work well with the ocean.

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  16. I love rivers. I grew up near one. My parents’ land is on the west bank of what used to be a wide, deep river but is now much narrower and shallower, running through a deep channel in the middle of the wider valley. Now I’m on top of a high hill so no rivers here, but I’m about 30 minutes from the Athabasca.

    I have a screaming terror of standing water, ponds, pools, dugouts, lakes, even the ocean, but moving water doesn’t bother me as much.

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      1. The ocean definitely moves. I definitely get seasick. When we lived in Key West, papa always owned a boat. Thirteen of them in five years, ’58 to ’63. Papa was sort of a horse trader, trading up cars and boats. And even on the biggest, the cabin cruiser, I got seasick. So, naturally, I joined the Navy. Where I got seasick some more. It became a running gag. First I ran to the head (bathroom), then I gagged.

        Even so, one of my favorite memories was a swim call. Our Submarine surfaced 50 miles out of Charleston, SC, and we were permitted to go topside and swim. I went topside. I swam. For safety purposes, we had two people with M-14 rifles on the sail planes, the horizontal rudder-looking thing sticking out of the side of what civilians think of as “the conning tower.” The Executive Officer had swum out about 100 yards, when someone sighted a fin. He got back in a hurry and the watches fired a lot of ammunition at the shark that followed him. I was not in the water at that point, but I saw a fin, and a tail fin a lo-o-ong way behind it.

        Entering the ocean is entering the food chain.

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  17. Good timing. Last weekend we booked a tour in Washington State on Diablo Lake which is formed by damming the Skagit River. As a plus we were allowed to tour the power plant at Ross Dam. It is a spectacular trip on a winding mountain road to get there and we lucked out since it stopped raining and blue skies prevailed. If you ever want to take an amazing road trip go north from Seattle to Mount Vernon east on the North Cascades Highway to Winthrop then south along the Columbia River to Wenatchee then sort-of northwest back to Seattle over Stevens Pass. This is known as the Cascades Loop. There are one or two variants to this loop. It basically takes you from the Puget Sound across the Cascade Mtns to the dry high plateau area of eastern Washington, then back across the Cascades to the Puget Sound area. In a few weeks the North Cascades highway will once again be closed by snow and you won’t be able to do this again until early next summer. (The highway was basically a boondoggle to keep the whole area from being designated a wilderness area). It can be done in one day, but only if you are certifiable. We took several days.

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  18. I shared water memories, but I have a fabulous mountain memory. In July of ’71, I was attending Navy Nuclear Power School at Mare Island, Vallejo, CA. One of our instructors went to Yosemite National Park and shared some… inspiring stories with the classes. The next week, at least a dozen of us made the trip. After a night near the parking lot, we hiked up the trails, the John Muir and Rainbow Trails, up past Rainbow Falls, where we did a little swimming above the rapids. Someone else that weekend did a little swimming below the rapids and went over the falls. Next we continued the hike up above Nevada Falls. Someone else went wading above the falls, and dragged his girlfriend over that falls. Not a good weekend for hiking and wading.

    A smaller group of us continued the hiking and climbing until we reached the top of Mount Half Dome. We didn’t make it down to the others before dark, and ended up laying our sleeping bags in the saddle behind the peak. In the waning light, we had an awesome view of the park and the other mountains.

    After that it was literally all downhill. We were back at the cars in just a few hours, and headed back to base. I rode in a convertible, top down, shirtless, and got the worst sunburn of my life.

    I’m glad I did that when I was 20 and too stupid to know better. It isn’t something I’ll ever do again. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/half-dome-trail

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    1. Great story. My guy talks about when he was at Mare Island occasionally but he was there before your time. His first job was for the Navy (64) and he was sent there twice: once to work in the nuclear engineering department to construct new submarines and once to work in the nuclear department on testing. He and his buddies also loved hiking in the Sierra Nevadas.

      He laments occasionally that he could have bought the old train depot in Yountville, CA (home of the French Laundry and big buck central these days) for $10,000 but thought it was a bad idea since he had no intention of living in CA. He says it shows that he was not destined to be a millionaire because he has the wrong mind set.

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  19. I love rivers and mountains and the ocean, though I must admit swimming in rivers makes me nervous unless they’re slow and shallow.

    I grew up in flat farming country miles from a river, so I didn’t really discover rivers or mountains till my late teens. It was love at first sight. We used to spend summer holidays by the sea, so I’ve always loved the sea. Some of my favorite times are still scrambling over rocks by the sea, exploring.

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  20. I grew up near the Connecticut River and I can’t say it shaped my life—maybe we weren’t close enough. We did swim in a local pond and went sliding down stream waterfalls which is great fun and I should do it again.
    Now I live outside DC and we can walk along the towpath with a canal on one side and the Potomac River on the other . Depending on which lock you start at you can get amazing wildlife—we watched a great horned owl for a long time once and herons are regulars. My husband used to commute by bike down tbe path to DC, and has stories of traffic jams caused by snapping turtles and deer. I think most people don’t realize you can commute by bike down a river side path to work in the World Bank or the White House or other major and well known office complexes. When we tell people about the occasional deer that jumps over the fence into the White House lawn or into storefronts I n Georgetown they don’t believe us.
    The Potomac actually has some major whitewater and Olympic kayakers live here to practice in it. Many years ago one was furious when he was trying to practice during a storm and the river police hauled him out; the police were furious that he made them risk their lives.

    Sadly about a half dozen to dozen people drown in the Potomac every year. It has very rapid currents and often people who can’t swim fish along the edges and fall in but I think even strong swimmers drown. It’s not a swimming River.

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    1. That’s the Ohio, too. People who can’t swim go out on jet skis without life jackets, fall in, and drown because the currents are so swift. Do not mess with big rivers.

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