Dunbar Brook, After The Flood. November 20, 2011Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Dunbar Brook, Monroe, tropical storm Irene
Dunbar Brook comes down from the high country of Monroe, spilling into the Deerfield river.
This past summer season it swallowed all Tropical Storm Irene offered it and transformed into a raging torrent, eating its banks, sucking in miles of forested terrain and clogging the culvert at River Road, then finding a way around, blowing out the road and stranding the little community of Monroe Bridge.
They weren’t entirely cut off, as the road over the hills through Rowe survived, but were nonetheless cut off from the south in an impressive display of the power of Nature Scorned.
I hiked up the Dunbar Brook trail on Saturday, cataloging the devastation in my mind but leaving my camera tucked away. Innumerable stretches of the river were laced with a thick cloak of fallen trees, the water below barely visible. Without some fiduciary incentive to removing this mess, I expect it will stay in place until it rots.
And I’m not entirely decrying that outcome; Irene was an Act Of Nature, even if our carbon-spewing civilization contributed to the mix. It’s just that I’m mourning the transformed visage of a stream which had come to grips with its surroundings, settled down, grew moss in all of it’s damp niches and smoothed the rough edges to produce the landscape I’ve been rediscovering through my photographic eye these past few years.
I hiked an hour upstream past snags of uprooted trees and unfamiliar gravel bars until I came to a place where some semblance of my old stomping grounds sat knee-deep in the flow of the present, and for old time’s sake, snapped these two photos off.
Dunbar Brook, just about like it used to be:
…but with the addition of a tiny cairn atop the prominent pointed rock in the background.
Hey, Life Sucks, And Then You Die, unless you leave a mark. So I’m good with that little cairn.
A bit upstream, the flow was a bit less braided, tumbling through a narrow channel to produce this view:
It’s difficult to imagine this little stream doing the damage it wrought downstream, but as we move farther from the norm of the past, we had better get used to it and be prepared to deal with it.
That’s all for now. Good night, my faithful visitors.