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Friday, November 20, 2015

Post Diluvium...

When I crossed the Lewis Street Bridge today, it was hard to imagine that just three short months ago bathers were wading the Sky from bank to bank. Looking down at the roiling, brown water of a river that day before yesterday scoffed at containment and even at this posting is yet lapping hungrily at its banks, made me wonder if I was the same person who shared his fear about the well running dry.

The sun came out today, a welcome change from overflowing gutters and ponding on the property where ponds have never been before. A good day to be afoot in the Valley and so out I went to see what had washed away or, as I discovered, was still awash. Floodwaters shimmered in the November sun. I noted the silt-laden vegetation marking high water marks...the familiar signs of Valley hydraulics in flood season.
The grass shouldering the road west of Swiss Hall was flattened, roots showing white in some places, victims of the flood currents rushing over the asphalt. What I first thought was roofing material from Swiss Hall turned out to be debris washed up on the roadway by the rampaging river. Further down the road receding flood waters had piled and dropped more detritus.

Sargeant Road is my routine turnaround spot, but I noticed the flashing lights of a Werkhoven bucket loader tiptoeing its way through a lake of floodwater pooled in the road in front of the silage bunkers. Parked up to its hubs was a tractor, hose trailing from a pump powered by the PTO. I thought I'd continue my exercise and inspect up close and personal the Sky's impact on the Valley's milk supply. I first noted the dairy's sand auger grounded and out of commission. Then the familiar figure of Andy Werkhoven skirted the dairy's new--and unwelcome--water feature. Most of my encounters with Andy find him up to the top of his barn boots in some sort of liquid...effluence from the dairy barns, for instance. Today it was the Sky's floodwater. Andy saw me working my camera, recording the waterlogged scene and yelled: "You can title that picture 'A Pain in the Ass.'"

Those are Andy's words, not mine. I'm just reporting the news.... Print this post

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