Monday, March 15, 2010

river life


the city i live in is bisected by a beautiful river.
i cross it two times every day.

the otonabee was once a wild river that the first nations used to travel through this region.

later, it drew the early settlers to its side because it provided not only the necessary liquids around which all life inevitably gathers, but also because it provided a source of energy.
energy to drive grainmills and woodmills.

many cities began their lives this way.



it is now a tamed river. being a source of hydroelectricity for the city, there are dams to help divert water into the small plants that create power. passing through several small towns and my city, it also provides us with our drinking water, and being one element of a waterway for boaters travelling from lake ontario to the south to lake huron in the north there is a lock system to ensure safe passage for lovely little boats.



happily

it has retained much of its beauty.

as these appreciative residents will tell you.

30 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

Rivers are like life's arteries. So much of life's energy runs up and down them. I particularly like (the now rare) waterways unblocked by dams of any sort. We do have one in far northern California, the Smith River. I once saw a bear swim across it.

Elisabeth said...

Your wild river, now tamed is very beautiful, Steven and how fortunate for you to be able to cross it every day.

Eternally Distracted said...

That certainly does look like a beautiful river. Great shots.

Rachel Fenton said...

You have such a great eye for framing shots - wonderful pictures. I really like your blog header, too.

I like how even the ducks aren't risking the chill of the river for a swim!

Alaine said...

I'm always drawn to water; this river is beautiful. Looking forward to your blue bottle story; for a moment, the other day, I thought it was the blue crystal gift from Willow.

Penny said...

You are lucky to have such a river. Australia's major river isnt even getting to the sea without help any more and the wild lakes and Coorong are in desperate need of water. At the moment although there are floods in the north, here in the south it is a dying land.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Life-giving arteries.

Cute neighbours steven!

ellen abbott said...

I love rivers. I love to canoe on rivers. Here at the country house we have the Colorado that runs through town. In Houston, there are many bayous (which are little rivers) but only one has been left in it's natural state and it is close to the city house. The river I have paddled the most though is the Rio Grande. It is a pale shadow of the raging river it used to be. In fact in the recent past it didn't even make it to the Gulf Of Mexico, drying up before it got there, so much of the water is siphoned off.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love rivers so much, love our beautiful (though polluted) Potomac and Anacostia rivers so so so much.

Steven, there is no such thing as a tamed river! There is wildness there. Give your beloved river an abundance of rain and she'll show you her wild side, oh yeah.

In Hindu myth, the Ganges is a goddess (the lovely impetuous Gunga) who is so given to enthusiasms that sometimes she gets in a mood and floods the riverbanks with her effusiveness. They don't even blame her. Isn't that nice?

steven said...

dan - life's arteries - nice. i love streams for the simple reason that they remain simple, uncluttered, left more-or-less as is and carve their own way through the land. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

elisabeth - i am very fortunate!! in this town there are six places to cross it. each entirely unique. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hello eternally distracted. there are some stretches of this river that i hope to visit this summer. places where i can be right beside it. have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hi rachel, thanks for your kind comments. i saw some ducks in the river on the day i took these pictures. they were tugging at the weeds that had frozen into the ice at the side of the river! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hello alaine - the blue bottle story is coming up soon. the gift i got from willow was a golden crystal! it too will make a reappearance when it gets its "spring photo shoot"! steven

steven said...

hello penny. i live in a water-rich region. indeed it is being said that the next major war will be over water and that my country will be at the centre of it having the largest supply of fresh water in the world. uh oh! steven

steven said...

hello bonnie - yes they are cute!!! sometimes they visit my backyard - especially in the spring when they're sorting out who's going to be hanging out with who. have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

ellen - you were a rafter once right? this river used to be a genuine wild river. huge rapids. it's still a tiny bit wild but for the most part it's a fast moving and gentle river. thanks for the river stories. steven

steven said...

hey reya - i know. i guess i'm comparing this river to what i have read about its natural state before dams and canal locks. it still has a lovely edge to it and has the capacity to unleash emotion on the surrounding countryside when needed. have a lovely dc day. steven

Dave King said...

Excellent post. Intriguing how it's almost impossible to talk about a major river without making it sound like a living, breathing being.

steven said...

hi dave! i agree. i think in part it's because rivers are such tangible living things as compared to the air which has many of the same features but isn't entirely visible. have a lovely day. steven

Golden West said...

Yes, the early settlers either congregated on the coasts or alongside navigable rivers that hastened trade and travel. Your river is beautiful, Steven!

Linda Sue said...

Always respectful of rivers and intimidated I tend to stay on the shore. Went down the Nooksack river in a canoe one time- scared me a lot. The nooksack, though beautiful and meandering peacefully is constantly changing it's path, engulfing homes nearby, carving new routes through the land, sucking in fishermen , strong undertow. I respect rivers like I respect locomotives- keep a safe distance. Your river looks settled, as rivers go...or maybe that is just you, settled and sane visually, wild under currents- would you be a river or a lake? I would be mud.

NanU said...

thanks for the lovely visit, steven. the little creek that i cross twice daily is trying its best to be a mighty artery. soon it will calm down and settle for carrying leaves and small twigs and just making us happy with its music.
bonne journée!

steven said...

hello golden west!!! i'll let the river know that when i'm next by its side! steven

steven said...

linda sue - as a non-swimmer i'm deeply respectful of water. once i nearly gave my life to a river - the madawaska - and lived to tell the tale of a near death experience in which i saw myself attached to me by threads.
would i be a river or a lake? a drop of water. moving from spring to stream to river to lake to ocean to cloud to rain to spring.
sweet day! steven

steven said...

hello nanu - thanks for the visit! i love the little creeks especially. i'm hoping to visit one tomorrow or wednesday. i see myself sitting in the middle taking pictures up stream. steven

Bachelor said...

Steven,
Great pics and spring is right around the corner! :) The Bach

steven said...

hey bach!!! thanks and you know what - i think you're right!!! the snow continues to melt away and even though the night's are below zero - the days here are getting towards the teens (celsius that is). have a lovely evening. steven

jeannette stgermain said...

Love the second pic - there's so much atmosphere in it!

Liza said...

I had this thought of the river carrying you to your "other life", and then back home again.
I love the pics Steven.
Fabulous!