rocket tracking


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Raging under the Surface

Spring is coming. With spring comes the thaws from the areas in the north of Ohio. They get snow....lots of snow....lake effect snow....Here, in southwest Ohio, just north of Dayton, it is drier....for a time.

But when that snow melts, and we get rain here, the rivers swell. So much so, that Troy, and Dayton and much of the other areas have levees to control the flooding.

Here is the Stillwater River, rich with silt expanded beyond its normal banks.

From the surface, it looks calm. It's not. Underneath it is raging...angry...but fertile. I suppose that's one reason why rivers are often referred to as women.

The rivers in this area are beautiful, but dangerous. Most of the time they are fairly shallow, but during the wet periods they can be deceiving.

Not too long ago....maybe December of 2005 or 2006, a family was walking along the banks of the river in Englewood at the Metropolitan Park there. They had a young dog who leaped into the river. The mother of the family went in after the dog. She started to struggle. The father leaped in after the mother. The girls, one a teenager and one about my daughter's age watched helplessly as all three drowned. They never found one of them....

Here you can see the Adam's Street Bridge across the Great Miami River in Troy, Ohio. A flotilla of Canada geese patrol the area. To the right, you see the piles of gravel and fill they are using to repair the levee.

The Great Miami flows down through Dayton after taking many winds and joins with other rivers who ultimately join the Ohio River. The Ohio goes into the Mississippi. It's kind of fascinating to me that soil that starts out in my back yard could eventually wind up in the Mississippi Delta.

Flood waters here reach up to the 1930s boathouse at "Treasure Island" in Troy. Until recently, this was home to a Japanese restaurant called "Arang." Another concern has recently taken over the lease and hopes to rent boats again. It's sort of cool as you can tie up your boat underneath the restaurant and then go eat...

I always wanted to go to Arang, but it was predominantly patronized by the substantial Japanese ex-pats who are here working at the various manufacturies, including . My daughter was a little scared of the place as she and another cross country team-mate stopped there to use the bathroom and no one spoke English. While she was used to people only speaking Spanish, the Japanese clientele was a little too exotic for her.

Closer to home is this little creek behind our house. It doesn't belong to us, there's actually 15 feet or so of property which belongs to the neighbor who is on the other side of the creek...something I find sort of weird.
Much safer...and a source of consternation to me as it is home to bullfrogs and tons of crayfish. The crayfish aren't a problem, even though they make mud chimneys all across the back yard, and I have pulled them from the fish pond as well as from my goldfish pond.
It's the bullfrogs. They are HUGE. Invariably, they find their way into my goldfish pond. Since they eat anything they can get in their mouths, including other bullfrogs, I'm not too fond of them. My husband can't stand them. I'm the bullfrog removed. He's weirded out by the sliminess of their skin and the fact that they are so big. I caught one sleepy one the other day and he was at least 6" long curled up. I can't imagine what it would be extended.
Mr. (or Mrs.) bullfrog took a ride wrapped in my net to a pond about a mile away. I love my goldfish too much to allow them to stay here. A leopard or a green frog I wouldn't mind, but bullfrogs are not welcome.


Sunita said...

Lisa, that's one very tempestuous river you have there! Just how close is it to your home?
About the bullfrog, I can loan you my GS dog. She's got a bottomless pit for a stomach and even hunts down crows. You just may have to put up with her rolling in the muck in your pond though :D

Shady Character said...

This reminds me of when I was a kid and we'd go out wading in the runoff streams coming off the fields, sometimes on top of a layer of ice. How I survived to adulthood is anyone's guess.

Spring is really coming and though it's revealing a lot of shades of brown underneath, I'm quite happy to see the snow depart!

Michigoose said...

Sunita, the Stillwater is about 3 miles from my house and the Great Miami is....maybe about 4 miles. The creek, of right there in my back yard.

We do get water in our basements here, unless it is the dry season. All of the houses along my street have sump pumps in the basement which continually run. I'm thinking about putting in a well so I can water my garden without paying the down. I can't used the creek as I don't own access. I often wish I could save the water which is pumped out from the sump pump and the grey water so I could use it in the garden when I need water which is usually from August to Oct.

Michigoose said...

Shady, I loved playing in the ditches and swamps too. I also loved draining off the spring rain water from our dirt driveway. It would always rut, and I would make dams and extra connectors, deepening in places so that it would all drain away. Mom and dad said they were sure I was going to be a Civil Engineer...I probably should have, but the math scared me off and wasn't something I enjoyed....

Michigoose said...

Oh yeah...the Japanese factory is Honda. I think Stillwater Technologies is also Japanese owned, but I'm not sure. It is, I think, a robotics company.