A River Runs Through It

No, not the movie, my yard! Living alongside a river is a wonderful thing, but also a tough thing to struggle with morally. Luke is on the side where he wants to do whatever he can semi-naturally, whether it’s moving logs or diverting the impact of the current with rocks, to save the river bank from being eroded. I’m on the side where I’d rather not get in the way. The river goes where she goes, who are we to stand in the way? It’s hard to decide what to do and what not to do, but there’s no doubting that the power of the river is amazing.

I take the same pictures of the river over and over to document the changes to the path of the water, the shape of the bank, and the area all around. Usually the changes are small, the current changes the size of the sandbar, the big storm washes the neighbor’s swing set downriver to our area, the usual. But last night I found big changes. Changes like a big, honking tree disappearing.

Well, I guess, technically that’s not entirely true. The tree fell over about a year and a half ago after big rains and heavy winds washed out all hope of this big tree on the river’s edge holding its ground. Luke cut the tree up and the gigantic stump was left on the bank of the river, roots still firmly… well, rooted.

I can’t find a good before shot of the stump, this is the most recent shot of the stump holding big ice chunks after a storm last month. I’m not sure if you can tell the size of the stump, but Luke and I could both sit on it together comfortably, it was big.

Molly and I went for a walk to the river last night and noticed immediately that something was different. We hadn’t walked down there since the big rains this weekend and were surprised to see this void in the bank where a large stump used to be.

And then this oddly misplaced stump a ways downriver. Molly notices immediately when something has moved from it’s usual position. She’ll bark at my car if I put it anywhere but its usual place, and she was none too happy that this stump was moved without her notification. She barked and barked at it until I pointed out the deer bones laying in the field just to distract her.

I’m amazed that the river had the power to rip that stump from the bank and drag it down river so far, yet the picnic table and even the deer bones are in exactly the same spot as before, having not moved at all during the flood. Amazing. I’m sure Luke’s agonizing already about what to do to keep the bank where the stump used to be from eroding.

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