Friday, March 23, 2012

A River Runs Through It

Out walking the critters this morning, I met that old guy and his dog (from the post about Appearances).  We crossed paths at the top of the rise overlooking the river, which has dropped about ten feet since yesterday.  He told me it had rained, in a monumental torrent, for 38 hours straight, some kind of record for southern Oregon.  Interesting factoid, though even so, it seemed longer to me. 

While we were talking, I couldn't help surreptitiously checking out his earlobes after that offhand comment he'd made last week. And guess what??  He really did wear earrings at some point in time--he had three holes in one ear and two in the other!!  Honestly, go figure.


Some photos of the overflowing Umpqua River:

Two days prior, the boys and I were walking on the other side of those trees.  The electrical box (in the lower right corner) is usually many feet from the riverbank, and the bank is about five feet above the river.

Straight ahead in this shot.  I was standing on the very edge of the rushing water, amazed by the sheer volume of what is really rainfall.

The view looking down river.  The little bridge looks so low to the water.  Just as I turned away after taking this shot, there was a loud, M-80 crack of sound, which actually made me jump.  I quickly looked toward the bridge to see that an enormous log had smashed into one of the bridge supports.  It was caught briefly in the turmoil, then with a grinding scrape, it jerked free and shot down the river.  I tried to get a picture, but I was on the wrong side of the trees and it happened too fast.   

The boys like to sniff and cavort around those large shrub-like trees in the middle-ish part of this picture, I think because of squirrels, or maybe just in the hope of squirrels.  The water is nowhere near these bushes on a regular day.

I'm up on the rise in this shot, the same rise where I bumped into the old guy this morning.  If you look close, you can see the park bench.  Your feet would be getting very wet if you were sitting there yesterday.  The walking trail, though it affords a nice view of the water, isn't close to the bank at all.  In fact, in front of the bench, there's a long stretch of grass, the trees, then a steep drop (5-6 feet maybe) to the water...usually.

Our walk takes us past one side of the golf course.  This is the 16th Hole, I think, judging by where the clubhouse is--two flags from this spot. 

The only two brave enough to get out on the course...(click to see better)

Last night at the gloaming, I glanced out a window that overlooks the Valley, I was struck by the shine of water that shouldn't be there.  Off to the right, behind my trees, the river is visible most of the time, but that other water?  Doesn't belong.

Closer view.  Hope the new vineyard down there hasn't lost any of their newly planted stock.

One funny part in all this flooding had to be the dogs.  They just could not wrap their heads around what was going on at the park.  They have such a routine--pee, sniff, pee, sniff, pee, pee, sniff, sniff, sniff--that having half their territory underwater just didn't compute.  Ozzy walked the line of lapping water, trying to figure out how to pee on his favorite tree, a tree ten feet into rushing water; Max wanted no part of any of it and kept pulling his leash to head for higher ground.

When we got home, this is how Max dealt with the trauma:  He snagged one of his toys, went to his spot on the couch, tucked it under his chin, and took a long nap, no doubt hoping all would make sense again when he woke up.

Ozzy, on the other hand, went on guard duty.  Good god, someone has to be paying attention!!  That water stuff might just be coming up the mountain!!

Poor boys. It's hard when the unexpected happens in their world.


  1. I like that observations, that it's hard in their lives when the unexpected happens.

    Then again, I can't imagine seeing that amount of water wandering where it should not be, either...


    1. They're such creatures of habit. I try to mix it up, taking them different places, walking new routes, but going somewhere familiar and having it be weird? Too confusing, for sure.