Finding the Floodwater

“I think you can squeeze through there”

Back in February, I got a text message from my daughter:

There’s a flood warning for the CT River in Hartford…Photo Op?

After a long series of texts back and forth, we had agreed to meet in the parking lot of a State office building, shuffle into one car and head to Riverside Park. We agreed to meet at 6:30 am, for the light, don’t you know. Riverside Park was our first choice because it lies along the west bank of the Connecticut River. The park is ringed by the levy that protects Hartford from flood waters. The only significant structure in Riverside Park is the boathouse I featured last year for Thursday Doors, and, as I mentioned then, it was designed to be flooded.

Flooded, it was.

We’ve had a pretty strange winter. The flood waters were the result of several weeks of warmer than normal weather, rain and melting snow, but February was ending with a cold snap. It was in the teens at 6:30 am and ice was forming on the standing water. Of course, that meant a chance to get interesting photos.

I’ll let you decide how much you want to read today. The photos in the gallery all have descriptions, but I do need to highlight two of them. The photo in the upper right is the scene of my earlier faux pas. The road to the park is closed (due to flooding…duh) and we have to get over the guard rail. Or, perhaps we can “squeeze” through that opening – yes, I said “I think you can squeeze through there” to my daughter.

Last summer, we hiked the “unimproved” trails in Riverside Park and we were able to hike under this trestle. Those trails are under water.

The second photo is the one here at the right. At the river-end of the north-end levy is a railroad trestle. Of course we had to go there and get photos. My editor is still sick, but she agreed to read this post, so I better not try to sneak that one in. We were safe the entire time. We took no chances and we remained very much aware of any possible activity on those tracks.

All of the pictures in the gallery are of or from within Riverside Park. I have more photos from another park, but I’ll wait until Monday to present those.



  1. Lovely photos Dan, but I think I like the one of your daughter squeezing between the barriers best. You both have such a great connection and sense of humor.

    PS: What happened to SOCs today? You prefer flooded parks over eggs? ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do Mary. I couldn’t think of much to do with eggs. I do SoCS at least twice a month but I was stuck today. I’ve had these photos for a while. We’re back in a cold snap, so I thought of these. The comment was on a similar visit several years ago. This photo was a “he returns to the scene of the crime” moment. She’s a good sport.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First, I think your daughter is awesome. How many of our kids would meet us at 6:30 on a frosty morning for a photo op?! … let alone be the instigator of the meeting!!

    The early morning excursion was totally worth it for these photos. There are 2 that really stuck out for me – all that water under the train trestle and the flooded road. The fact you say it happens every year is even more amazing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s an avid photographer. I do appreciate the fact that she still likes to take me along. The flooding wasn’t too bad this year. We have definitely seen it much higher. The day we were there was pretty much the peak. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.


    1. So true Janet. It’s like “ooh, we survived…where’s my camera?” We manage to get several of these in each year. Not always a disaster but often with a sense of adventure.


  3. I used to work within walking distance of Riverside Park and I remember the occasional high water. I love the picture of the reflections of the trees where you can’t see the actual tree, just the reflection. Despite the cold, it looks like a fun outing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a footbridge over the highway but we weren’t sure about parking on the west side. It’s over where I-91 dumps into Hartford. There’s a lot of construction there now, with the baseball stadium. Did you work on the east side of the highway? All I know over there is CT Transit and the Police.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I dig those reflections, too. Those are a few of my favorite things. Great colors on the sunrise, too. I had to read twice and then scold myself about the soccer field. “Surely that’s not a soccer field.” “He must be confused.” “Says right there, ‘soccer field!'” “It’s a park, Joey. Dan knows his own parks.” Truly spectacular, the way it accommodates the flooding. I can see why it made for a great day of photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I sure am not a fan of flooding (too much of it lately in the UK) but it certainly gives the chance to great photo sessions. It looks like you too had some fun. Thanks for sharing the photo’s :-) .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kindred Spirits! I’d think Photo Op too, and wish I was with you two. I love the trestle bridge, and the images with the reflections.

    I think it’s amazing that someone had the foresight to design the park to go with the flow and flooding! It looks like it’s functioning as designed. Does it spill over from time to time and flood the neighborhood too?

    Hope you and your Editor are feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, thank you for the good wishes. As for the levies, I don’t think the city has flooded since they were built. The problem is, the original levies cut the city off from the river. I wrote last year about Riverfront Recapture and how, after 30 years, they finally connected the city and the water.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally get this. A little over a year ago I started to go for photo walks along the American River. My hope is that over the years I’ll be able to chronicle a whole lot of the river. But I picked a bad time … in the midst of the fourth year of a significant drought here in California. So, while the river is there, there isn’t much. This winter though we have received good rain fall and the river in the last few weeks has risen significantly. Only I haven’t had a chance to get to it for some pictures. I’m hoping for next weekend.

    And I also get the 6:30 meeting time. I’m happy for you that your daughter joined you. Makes it more special.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I visited Yosemite during the drought in the 70s and barely saw any water falling over the falls. I grew up around rivers and I’ve lived here for over 30 years. I’ve seen them flood, but I’ve never seen them dry up too much. I have seen a few tributaries to the CT River get pretty low, but only a few times. Chasing the morning light is important, even when the temp is below 20f.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure that Native Americans were enjoying a pretty good life along this river before we got here. Fortunately, we’ve been working for decades to clean the water, restore some fish and provide access. Thanks for stopping by today.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Faith and you exploring, capturing photographs and sharing the same scenery views was such a wonderful post. It filled me with joy for you and for her. Permanent memories stored away to pull out the repartee, conversation and silences shared. Thank you, Dan. I enjoyed the tree’s reflections and the sunset view best.

    Liked by 1 person

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