What the flood left behind

Someone once told me that it’s much easier to capture the effect of bad weather than trying to actually capture the bad weather itself.  If you’ve ever tried to take photographs of a high wind, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  While his advice might not have been perfect, it’s something I keep in mind when I’m shooting nature.

Last month was a month of rain.  Lots of rain.  Our temperatures were high enough that the (large) piles of snow started to melt during all the rain, and there for a while we had severe weather flood alert warnings from the national weather service almost every week.  It did flood, badly, but not in any areas close to me.  All we had to deal with was a massive amount of water trying to enter the basement – our sump pump earned its keep last month.

A recent walk on the sedate walking trail – former railroad – near the Mohawk river illustrated to me just how badly things had flooded in low-lying areas.  What was normally a forest merging into a marshy river bank filled with grasses and cattails during summer was instead inundated with about 5 feet of water. 

I know this because, as always, I went off-trail.  Every small tree and brush was coated with a thick coat of mud.  When the water finally receded, it left a curiously blank canvas of consistent mud and leaves on the ground.  Here and there, beside fallen tree trunks and large trees were eddies of detritus that the receding water had left.   

I’m a sucker for details, so this photo focused on the mess of stuff the water left behind.  It had to be black and white, because the uniform mud color wasn’t inspiring at all!

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