The Sign is Right – #1LinerWeds

My one-liner (the sign) was taken during a different winter and would normally be an appropriate warning at this time of year. As the temperature begins to rise in March, the snow along the upper 350 miles (563 km) of the Connecticut River would start melting and the river would rise. Great River Park (the parking lot of which the sign refers) is in a flood zone. The park sits west of a levy that protects the town of East Hartford from the rising water in the spring.

Our “spring” with respect to the river, occurred in January. We received slightly over 30″ (76cm) of snow in December. In January, our temperatures rose, and that snow melted. Last week, I had an opportunity to hike the trail in Great River Park and I saw the result of that flooding. You can look through the evidence in the gallery.

The Connecticut River starts at the border between the United States and Canada. On its way south it divides Vermont and New Hampshire and then it cuts through Massachusetts and Connecticut before emptying into Long Island Sound. In Vermont and New Hampshire, the mountains along the Connecticut River Valley might still have snow. If that’s the case, we might still experience flooding. For now, we can enjoy the early signs of spring.


This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You cuan follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

72 comments

  1. Hi Dan – makes sense … I envy you your space in the States and Canada for the boardwalks, trails etc … we do have them here – but also obviously much less land. Our spring isn’t properly here yet – still damp by the coast … lovely photos – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We live less than 2 miles from the airport, and they say the airport registered over 30″ of snow this winter. We did have two big storms early this winter, but I guess that’s it for the year.

      I don’t think you’re allowed to remove the driftwood from the park :(

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Growing up on the Mississippi River taught me a lot about the very fickle nature of rivers and waterways. One thing is certain. Nothing stops their progress easily. We have been very dry here. You can see the water levels on the edge of the little lake. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up near rivers, as well, Cheryl. I never underestimate their power. It seems like we are having a dry start to spring. I hope that doesn’t mean a wet end.

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  3. You were lucky with receiving less snow this year, Dan. Or is CT a little too dry? Green Bay has measured 74 inches this year, but you wouldn’t be able to tell now. Although we had a dusting of snow overnight, much of it has melted and we’ll be up into the 40’s today – above average.

    Nice photos of the park. It will be so inviting when everything turns to green again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think we’re too dry, yet, Mary, although it seems like the rain we’ve had has come down in short strong storms. It’s been a long time since the ground was white.

      That park has a beautiful walking path. The parking lot is in the middle. If you walk north, you run into the commercial area. Those people enjoy a walking path like you have. Walk south and you feel like you’re in the woods near a river (although the sound of traffic is always present).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The path I was on runs parallel with a major highway, so I also have traffic sounds. But the fact that I’m well below the highway and there are trees and berms and such in between, it helps to keep the noise manageable.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ally. There was always a blue tint to the park in the winter. The sky and water, particularly when there was ice on the river. I miss seeing the reflections of the city lights (but I didn’t miss driving there every morning).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Pam. When the park was flooded, I’d see the parking lot from above and it looked like a pool. They would open the lot, but keep the trails closed until they could clean up. Of course, being dressed for work, I wasn’t up for walking though inches of silt. This is one of the few times I’ve been able to see the damage the water has done to the trail.

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  4. That water must have come in pretty high, Dan, as far as the water level on the poles show. To what extent do they have flood defences in the area? We’ve just gone through terrible flooding and the government has set aside millions of pounds to extend flood defences, which, by the way, is just a drop in the ocean compared to the need. I love that shot of yours of the river with the flood control levy. Looks like it can become extremely powerful when in flood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Don. They built the twin levies in this area after severe flooding in the 30s. They also buried the Hog River that used to flow through the south end of Hartford. The levy on the east side has been repaired in recent years. The levy on the west side is in bad shape, but with the highway traveling over it, it’s a much harder job to repair it. The big issue is that the levy and the highway cut Hartford from the river. They would like to recapture the waterfront, but that’s a bottomless pit when it comes to the money required. There are only a few large cities (large for us) along the river, as its years supporting commerce were short lived. It carries so much silt that navigation was always a challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s sad the way tree limbs eventually become driftwood, but I must admit, I love driftwood in gardens!! Looking at those lamp posts, it’s hard to imagine the water being so high. That’s just plain scary!!

    Great photos Dan. Further proof that we should never take Mother Nature for granted or ever disrespect her!! I hope this area will get a break from flooding this year so it can rejuvenate.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I’ve seen the water flood much farther in/up the park, but I’ve never seen the effects beyond the parking lot. Last year’s flood saw the river crest about 6-8′ higher than the mark on those lamps. You could actually see the flood water at the next highway. Fortunately, there’s a natural swampy area at the south end of the park that provides a place for the water to go.

      They’ve done a pretty good job keeping the water away from Hartford and East Hartford, but the cost of maintenance is high, and access to the river is a problem. The river generally goes where it wants to go.

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  6. You had a lot of snow in December! The effects on the landscape are amazing. What a pretty spot. Just a few hours south of you and we had only 5 inches of snow this entire winter, 3 of them in a freak pre-Thanksgiving storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Almost all of our snow fell and had melted before Christmas. The snow levels are measured at the airport (where we live) but 45 miles away on the shore, I think they only had about 10″ this entire winter. We’ve driven about 50 miles north along the river, and there were very few signs of snow in February.

      I always liked stopping at this park on my way to work. Nature has a way of grounding you.

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    1. Plenty of opportunities, Judy. Now we have to see if they have plenty of money. They should have a surplus from the money they didn’t spend on clearing snow, but government budgets never seem to work like that.

      Maddie has been enjoying a late-morning walk and a short afternoon sit for the past several days. I think she might be spoiled.

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  7. It is so nice to see Great River Park in the sunlight, Dan. As I recall, that was often one of your stopping-off places for photos on the way to work. Can I assume from your brief comment about not missing your former commute that you are enjoying the freedom afforded to you by retirement? I always enjoy reading the photo captions and chuckled about the juxtaposition of the words “debris” and “decorates” in the phrase “debris decorates the shore.” :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike. Yes, this is my old stopping place. I would leave early for work to beat the traffic, but as the years dragged on, I started stopping here for a few minutes each day to enjoy not being in the office. I don’t miss the commute, but I miss being able to walk along the river. We have a park nearby, but no trail. The only trail is the Windsor Locks Canal Trail, and that doesn’t open until April (possibly July depending on the eagles). I hope it’s April this year, as I’d like to spend some time walking and riding my bike there.

      I’m always glad to see that people read the captions. WordPress doesn’t make it easy.

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    1. Thanks Amy. You really can’t stop a river. It has time on its side. The CT River valley is really a lake bottom. The “river” was dammed for millennia by glacial ice near Long Island Sound, and all of this area was a lake. The silt gave the valley some wonderful farmland, but it’s been a problem for navigation since the earliest ships were exploring the valley. They work constantly to maintain a channel, now mostly for pleasure craft. If they didn’t, you could walk across the river in our area.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Silt is SO nutritious for the soil, Dan. I honesty was surprised by the amount of silt I saw and now with your explanation it makes sense. I have a little understand of what goes on with the CT River. The park behind us has a lake and tributaries that as of last year are being cleaned out due to the build up of mud and silt. A lot of work goes into clearing this lake out.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The silt basically prevented Saybrook (where the CT River empties into the Sound) from becoming a commercial port. They have to constantly dredge a channel for recreation, and lots of boats run aground. There’s a famous picture of Albert Einstein in a boat, having run aground on the silt.

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  8. Wow, Dan. Living in Hurricane Alley, I can well appreciate what flooding can do. But still, what a mess. It really hurts to see those trees becoming uprooted like that. What else to do but fall into the river….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s where they’re headed, Lois. I don’t think there’s anything they can do at this point to stop the progress. The river wants to be where it wants to be.

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  9. We lived in Landenberg, Pa when I was little. The property daddy bought came with the dam that flooded a lot. One day the water came all the way up to the porch which was about 4′ off the ground. That was scary. Flood waters washed out the bridge so many times that daddy had to build a higher one. It was probably 20′. It seemed like it was 100′ the day I fell off it clowning around with my brother.

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  10. I really like the driftwood. Have you ever taken some of it home and made something out of it? I’d have all kinds of plans for Buck. I love driftwood. It’s beautiful. And to think, it got it’s raw, twisted beauty from the raging floods. That kinds gives me chills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love the look of it, Sandi but you’re not allowed to remove it from the park. My mother had a hunk of driftwood that she would decorate for each season. It sat on a little half wall at the end of our living room.

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  11. So many people around the country are talking about their mild winters. I imagine it’s a relief not to have to deal with the cold and inconvenience, but I worry about the long-term implications. Right now, your river looks so peaceful. I hope you avoid flooding and the disruption that can cause.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve had mild winters before. I don’t think we’re done being a four-season place, but the long term outlook is scary. We had rain on warm days that were followed by very cold days. A day here or there, and we would have been buried in snow.

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        1. It is sad to watch. Some manage to survive, leaning well into the river, but still anchored to the shore. They help hold that shore together, too. We need them to survive if we’re going to have a walking path.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, the force of water! Trees and driftwood have to bow to it, and unfortunately occasionally also people. Your journey here is so interesting, that by now I have forgotten the one-liner:)

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  13. It’s really quite nice to look at :) We have a lot of rain this week and next, and of course, March winds. Fall Creek is fair to middlin now, but it’ll be up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love that winding path with the street lamps. It reminds me of a dream I used to have about water covering the path so I couldn’t see where to drive or step. On the positive side, it’s fun to imagine what it will look like all green.

    Liked by 1 person

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