judifilksign: (Default)
Today, [livejournal.com profile] braider and I went to the Hocking River cleanup in Logan, Ohio.  The deal was, a canoe livery would let you use a canoe for free if you picked up trash in the river during your ride.  We arrived, bright and early, to discover that we were in fact, too bright and early by an entire week.  We ended up renting a canoe anyway and still picking up trash from the river, and got a refund of two dollars each for the two ginormous bags of trash we winnowed from the riverbanks and tree roots.

My partner steered a steady course for all the blockages and snags in the river.  Well, I helped, because this of course, was where trash accumulated.  We picked out:

merrily, merrily, merrily... )
[livejournal.com profile] braider  noted that she had a new respect for the American Indians that travelled up and down rivers in canoes hauling stuff, because it got darn hard to maneuver the boat as it got heavier with the filling trash bags.  I had to agree.  We had to shift garbage in the bags to keep the canoe from listing to one side.

Still, it was a lovely day, with a lovely friend.  [livejournal.com profile] braider is a joy to go out and do nature-y stuff with, because the company is so enjoyable, and she challenges me to do fun physical activities.
judifilksign: (Default)
Reprising a Mother's Day trip from a year or so ago, I went canoeing with [livejournal.com profile] braider  today down the Big Darby Creek River.  It was the perfect day for it; seventy degrees with blue skies and puffy white clouds, a soft breeze.

We rowed upstream for the first fifteen minutes or so, and saw a blue heron and a white faced barn owl.
Turning downstream, we paddled close to shore until I caught a glimpse of my house and the kids' fort in our backyard.  I cheerfully yelled hello uphill as we floated past.

We saw many painted box turtles resting on rocks, banks and logs.  We counted ninety turtles over the course of our course, in fives and sevens, lined up in rows of large, medium and small.

The sun sparkled beautifully on the water, birds sang for us, and flowers bloomed in the trees and on the banks.  We saw a mallard duck pair.  It was charming to see the male always keep himself between us and his mate.  We scared a gaggle of geese into flying further downstream, but they ignored us with great majesty when we caught up with them again.

[livejournal.com profile] braider  sang, which was beautiful, and I kept interrupting her to point out something stream of consciousness about our surroundings.  (She was awfully gracious about it, and cheerfully appreciated whatever "Oh!  Look!" I commented upon.)

It was a smooth, quiet river, so we would paddle across to the "rough" bits to challenge my canoeing skills.  It was so fun!  It's hard to think that this is the same river that threatened to drown my house with flooding not too long ago.

I spent the entire trip being overwhelmingly happy.
judifilksign: (Default)
will keep me from getting to PondFilk!

Columbus, Ohio had a scary scary storm with funnel clouds last night between midnight and two in the morning. We camped out in the basement and waited it out, with scary winds and lashing rain. And the TV radar showed we weren't even getting hit with the worst of it.

We're all okay, and my darling daughter was a trooper about it, too. The river is a bit up in its banks, so I can see it glistening in the dawn's early light through the woods, but it isn't high enough to be a danger to us.
judifilksign: (Default)
Not much change in height all day, but it's slowed down. News says it's as high as they're expecting it to get - pending the rain on Friday and Saturday.

Neighbors were talking about hearing my coyote last night, and maybe shooting it if it came into town. I'm really glad he's on the other side of the fence. I hope he'll be okay, brave guy.
judifilksign: (Default)
And - not *very* much higher than it was last night. I can see a trail worn through the leaves and mud where my buddy the coyote has been pacing by the fence. Occasionally from my back window I can see him. Doesn't he ever get tired, going back and forth?

Saw a kitty swimming, who pulled herself out, and shook herself off, and squiggled under my fence, shaking each paw in disgust as she went. She couldn't have been in the water long if she had energy to do that. She made a beeline to my boy's swing set fort out back, and climbed up the ladder to the second story, where she cleaned herself off.

I was up several times last night tending to sick kiddos, and used the opportunity to peer out back. The house lights lit up *just* to the fence, and I figured if I didn't see a glisten, all was okay. Nice to know I was right.

The grass undulates under my feet as I try to walk on it, so much water is flowing underneath. Kind of like walking on a water bed. I walk in the sunspots where the snow has melted, as to *not* repeat last evening's slip, sliding comedy of errors.

There's a spot just by the fence where all the underground water is pouring out in a spring. I've seen the coyote drink from this. It comes out of the ground surprisingly clear.

It's clear and beautiful outside, if cold. Weather report says no more rain until Friday.
judifilksign: (Default)
11 P.M. It started snowing this evening - good news for not adding more liquid into the swollen river. I went out to the fence line after the news, slipping and sliding on the wet grass covered by icy snow. Lost my Birkenstocks going down. Wet muddy bottom, wet squishy socks, wet muddy knees.

I shone my high powered flashlight over the fence, and nearly wet my pants in a different way as I lit up my buddy the coyote, back again. I guess he was cut off downstream. He whined at me, and stood his ground. The river gurgled and evilly chuckled behind him in the dark, past where my light could shine.

I wasn't scared of the coyote by my fence, but the river sounds scary when you can't see it.

The news said my creek was at 11 feet at 5 this afternoon, and was expected to peak by Thursday afternoon at 12.8 feet. That should be right at my fence line? Or below?

And two of my kiddos have become ill, with fevers and coughing that triggers gag vomiting.

I'm spending the night at home. And, since the county sheriff lives in my little hamlet, I'm certain that we'd get ample warning to get out if we need to.

All the same, I'm also certain that I'll be checking the river tonight.
judifilksign: (Default)
7:00 P.M. The water in the back has only encircled the tree it was kissing at 6:00, and the fence is still a few feet away. Our bridge out is still open and clear. The yard next to the bridge has a huge, ancient desk washed up from the 10 years' ago flood embedded in it's flood plain. The water is not yet up to the desk, which I think is comparable to my back fence.

The news said maximum flooding *ought* to be around 9:00 P.M. It is sleeting now, (less volume?)and my husband says there are areas in the park the water can spread out in, so much higher is unlikely.

I'm still checking obsessively, just to be sure.
judifilksign: (Default)
The water at 3 P.M. is about a person length (height, too) from my back fence. The speed of how fast the water was advancing has slowed considerably. My husband says there are areas in the park where it can spread out a little before it rises again. I'm still checking every 15-20 minutes.

As I stood at this boundary between me and the park, with the river bubbling just beyond, I saw a bunny rabbit lop-pity lop-pity loping amidst the puddles, passing me. Next came a round, wet raccoon, waddling, waddling steadily past me. Next came a dun colored coyote padding past, tongue lolling.

All were within but a few feet of one another, but they paid no attention to either me, or one another as they steadily traveled downstream, with little space between the fence and the muddy rising water. The coyote actually passed close by the bunny rabbit without breaking stride, and the bunny didn't try to bolt.

Amazing.
judifilksign: (Default)
And I am checking at 15 minute intervals out the window, because I can see the river, usually *far* away down the steep slope, creeping inexorably up the hill toward our fence, our yard, our house. I can see a difference in the height of the waters each time I look.

There are flood warnings about our county, with two to four more inches of rain expected. I am nervous enough to pack suitcases in case we have to evacuate at short notice.

Ten years ago, we were stuck in the house a day or so, because the river rose, and the county closed the bridges to our little hamlet. An inch or so of water in the basement, and me scared to death with a newborn infant, wondering if we'd have to leave by boat.

My line is the fence line. If the water touches it, we are *gone,* even if we're a few more feet uphill.

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