Posts Tagged ‘Flash Flooding’

1. Blue Heron Tree

Thursday September 12th started off a little murky and then it began to rain harder than I’ve seen it rain in a long time. And it rained and rained-we had what was essentially a continuous thunderstorm that lasted for several hours and dumped almost 6 inches of rain. I didn’t get any photos of it, but I saw a local pond top its banks and overrun roads for the first time in over 20 years. When I saw that I knew we would see some washouts.

 2. Washout

Scenes like this were common the next day. It was too bad that this particular spot washed away because a coltsfoot colony had taken hold here, and this is where I used to get my coltsfoot photos in the spring.

 3. Flattened Grass

You didn’t have to be a detective to figure out what direction the flood waters took.

 4. Embankment Repair

This was the repair. It’s just like the earlier repair that washed away in this storm, so I don’t expect it to last long. There are many coltsfoot plants buried under these tons of rock, and I’ll be amazed if they appear anywhere near here next year.

 5. Road Washout

Some places had it even worse. This hole where a road used to be is about a foot deep.

 6. Flooded Trail

The trails weren’t impassable, but it was sloppy going in places.

 7. Ashuelot on 9-13

The river was on full boil and didn’t look too inviting. Before I got to a spot where I could get a clear shot I watched 3 teenage boys go down the river in an aluminum rowboat, going so fast it looked like they were being towed by a speedboat. All I could do was stand there and gape, not believing what I was seeing. They made it through these rapids without capsizing and I hope that they made it out of the river safe and sound. I did some dumb things as a teenager but I never took on the river when it boiled like this.

 8. Ashuelot on 9-14

Imagine getting turned sideways in an aluminum rowboat and facing this. These waves were high enough to easily jump the sides of the boat and swamp it. And then there are the boulders that cause the waves. The roar of the river on this day was as loud as I’ve ever heard it.

9. Waterfall

Everywhere you looked it seemed like water splashed and roared. This is the outflow of a local lake.

 10. Dim Sun

All day Friday the sun tried to burn through the murkiness, but was having a hard time of it.

 11. Clouds over the Ashuelot

Finally the clouds began to break up and things started to dry out. It was good that they did-this stretch of river wouldn’t have taken much more rain.

Rain! whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

NOTE: The flooding we saw here it is nothing compared to what the poor folks of Colorado have gone through, so let’s not forget them.

Thanks for stopping in.

Read Full Post »

I knew that false hellebores were blooming so I set off to find some over the past weekend. I’ve been promising for almost two years that I would show you the flowers, but I’ve had quite a time finding plants that are mature enough to blossom.

1. Forest Path

One of the places I visited had a path I like to follow. Can you see it? Why, I wondered as I climbed, is everything worth seeing uphill? Why, I have to ask, can’t beautiful things ever be found on flat, level ground? I suppose that one of the answers would be that it is hard to find a waterfall on level ground.

2. Woodland Boulder

I took a rest from climbing to get a shot of this boulder covered with polypody ferns. They are living up to their common name of rock cap fern. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the photo that I saw all the bracket fungi on the tree in the background.

3. Forest Bench

I don’t know who carried this piece of plank here, but it makes a nice spot to sit and catch your breath, so I’m glad they did.

4. False Hellebore Flowering

This is what I came to find-the flowers of false hellebore (Veratrum viride.) These plants are hard to find in flower because they do so only when they are mature, which means ten years or more old. When they do blossom they do so erratically, so you never really know what you’ll find. When they finally bloom they carry hundreds of flowers in large, branched terminal clusters.

5. False Hellebore Flowers

The small flowers aren’t much to look at, but it’s easy to see that the plant is in the lily family by their shape. These flowers are the same color green as the rest of the plant but have bright yellow anthers. There are nectar producing glands that ants feed on and when they do, they pollinate the flowers. Animals leave this plant alone because it is one of the most toxic plants known, and people have died from eating it by mistaking it for something else.

6. Waterfalls

This is the other reason I came to this particular place. Though this stream was within its banks there was evidence everywhere that it had flooded recently-probably just the night before. We’ve had a lot of rain over the last week including some thunderstorms that triggered flash flood warnings, so I wasn’t surprised to see that it had flooded. Roads have washed away in some towns.

7. Evidence of Flooding

The flooding wasn’t strong enough to take down trees but it sure flattened almost everything else in its path. I learned a few things here-first and foremost was that, although false hellebore plants appear to have weak stems, they are actually very strong. They were one of very few plants left standing in the path that the water carved out of the forest.

8. Grass Under Water

This grass was underwater and it isn’t aquatic, so the water level of the stream was still several inches higher than it had been when the grasses grew.

9. Yellow Button Mushroom

All of the warmth and moisture was prompting some mushrooms to fruit. I think this one was possibly fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) in the button stage. It was about half the size of a grape.

10. Marlow Church

All but one of these photos were taken in a small town called Marlow, New Hampshire, which is about a half hour north of Keene. I thought I’d include the kind of photo that you see in tourist brochures-almost a cliché view of the small New England town, but those of us who live here enjoy it. The mill pond in the foreground is part of the Ashuelot River, which has appeared in this blog many times.

 11. White Water Lily 2

The mill pond is full of fragrant white water lilies (Nymphaea odorata) that I couldn’t get very close to, so my camera’s zoom was almost fully extended for this one.

 12. Ashuelot Rapids on 6-30-13

 Not long after it leaves the mill pond the Ashuelot River is squeezed between narrower banks and so begins to rage-especially because of all the rain we’ve had. This is a favorite spot for kayakers and I saw two of them unloading kayaks as I was leaving. You wouldn’t catch me riding a tiny plastic boat through these churning waters. I stood on an old wooden plank bridge to take this photo and that was enough for me, because the water level had almost reached the underside of the bridge. What does someone in a kayak do, I wondered, when faced with a bridge they can’t get under while speeding down a raging river? Maybe I’m better off not knowing-I’d still like to buy a kayak someday.

 13. Ashuelot Rapids on 6-29-13

If you have ever been swimming and heard the noise that somebody makes by doing what we used to call a cannonball, imagine that sound repeated over and over countless times in rapid succession. It creates a loud roar that is heard long before you can even see the river.


 14. Butterfly on Knapweed 2

 A cabbage white butterfly was interested in the knapweed (Centaurea) that grows along the river bank and let me stand there taking photos as it went from blossom to blossom. Mike Powell showed an excellent close up of this butterfly recently on his blog that revealed its green speckled eyes. They were quite beautiful-and unexpected.

It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things. Nicholas Sparks

Thanks for coming by. Have a great 4th of July.



Read Full Post »