These pictures were taken at the location where Seneca Creek meets the Potomac river in Montgomery County in Maryland. Many people start their travels on the river from the creek. This is also the location of Riley’s Lock on the C&O Canal.
Walking along the Potomac river, between Taylor’s Landing and Dam 4 on the C&O Canal towpath, we came across this somewhat strange sight on the West Virginia side of the river.Was this chair placed there so that somebody could spend the day fishing, or simply watching the flow of the river?
Was this chair placed there by a kind soul for the benefit of other people – so that they too could enjoy their day and time sitting by the riverside?
Considering that the chair was in a location that seemed to be hard to get to, at a place that you had to drive down a steep dirt road to reach, at a spot beside the river where the surface seems to be unsuitable for a comfortable walk, is it even possible that the chair was simply swept down the river to land upright in this location and position?
You can let your imagination wander, see whatever you wish to see, and make up your own stories, as you walk down the towpath on a Sunday morning.
We were supposed to do the Feaster Five run on Thanksgiving day, but the temperature turned out to be in the teens (in degrees Fahrenheit), and with the wind it felt like -3 degrees F. We ended up staying indoors, not even daring to try out the shortened course that the organizers had set up because of the weather.
But one can stay indoors for only so long. We also had to burn off the calories that were consumed during the Thanksgiving meal. So, we were out the next day. The temperature had risen to a balmy 20 degrees, still well below the freezing temperature. We went to the Weir Hill Reservation.Some of us ran, while the others walked. We did two loops, each slightly less than two and half miles, around the park.We survived!
During our walk along the canal last weekend, my attention was drawn to the pattern of reflections that I was seeing on the surface of the water in the canal.
I was first drawn to the lines in the water, and also the wavy patterns formed by the reflection of the tree trunks. It would be interesting to understand how these regular patterns form.The intensity of the lines began to diminish with time, which indicated to me that the phenomenon that was causing them was diminishing with time.The following pattern that I saw soon after that caught me by surprise. It looked like I was seeing blocks in the water, with clear demarkations between blocks. It was hard to comprehend the physical forces that were causing this to occur.The reflections in the following picture are more conventional, and what I expect to see this time of the year when the water is almost calm.There is much to see while taking a walk on a Sunday morning if you keep you eyes and ears open to the beauty of nature.
There are leaves on the ground all over our backyard. These are the days of transition, from the greens of summer, to greys and browns of winter. The days in-between, the days of Autumn, can be quite pretty as we observe the dying of the leaves, but we have not had occasion to see much of that in our neck of the woods this year. We did make the attempt during the last couple of weekends to see how things were on the towpath. Two weekends ago, we saw mainly green.This was how it looked where we went last weekend, to a different section of the canal close to the place we had been to the previous week. We already seem to be at the end of the Fall phenomenon in these parts! It was a surprising difference that we were seeing between the two places that were just a few miles apart over the the course of a week.
And then it started raining! The wet leaves stuck to the grass and the pavement all around our neighborhood. It stuck to the rooftops of cars parked on the street. It got carried into the storm drains by the storm water flowing in the streets.
The dampness penetrated the layers of clothing and made one feel miserable and wanting to crawl back under the sheets. There was no motivation to go outside and do some exercise, something that was needed badly!
But the sun is out today. I am optimistic about what the day can bring.
This picture was taken during our walk last Sunday. It shows that you can get all kinds of shades and textures of the color green. The beginning of the walk was not very promising because the water in the canal at Dickerson, the place where we had parked, stank a lot, probably due the green growth in it. Also, the stink in a couple of other locations due to dead animals did not help. But once we got going, it was all OK. Here is a picture of the ferry at Whites Ferry, the place where we turned to return to Dickerson.We got in a little more than 8 miles, and collected a few pawpaws along the way. The search for pawpaws was actually a little disappointing. We don’t know whether it is because it is early in the season, or whether there are going to be less of the fruits this year for some other unknown reason. In any case, the interest in consuming the fruit also seems to have decreased.
“And the sign said, “The words of the prophets Are written on the subway walls And tenement halls” And whispered in the sounds of silence”
Simon and Garfunkel
In the quiet woods,
On a rise beside a bubbling creek,
A creek lit up by the rays of the rising sun,
The passing hiker arrives at a resting place with a sign on it that says,
“Quieten your mind“I am reminded of the song from my childhood.
These pictures were taken during one of our Sunday walks towards the end of May. The aqueduct carries the C&O canal across the Monocacy river.
This kind of flooding happens every once in a while, and most often during the spring season when we get a lot of rain. The accumulation of the debris is somewhat unusual. The last time it happened they had to bring in heavy equipment to remove the tree branches that were caught on the structure of the aqueduct and putting pressure on it.
The following picture was taken during the same walk at a different location on the trail. This is upstream on the Potomac river.
My blogs have had the tagline of “Anything Goes” since the beginning, which could indicate either an aimless drift in a random direction, or, if you want to be kind, some sort of attempt on my part to include all of my disconnected interests in my postings. You decide! But one of the things that I hope you do discover in the blogs is that some of them tell stories of some kind or the other, be it that of the tree that grows in the woods, or something as silly as talking about the experience of consuming a bowl of cereal, or perhaps something else that takes my fancy at some particular moment in time. With this kind of a mindset, my response the topic of this week’s challenge comes somewhat easily.
My story for the day touches upon the “bomb cyclone“, a term that I had not heard of until very recently. As I understand it, a bomb cyclone weather phenomenon is characterized by a rapid and large drop in barometric pressure, which leads to extreme wind speeds that can cause a lot of damage. It leads to the story, in pictures, of last weekend’s walk along the C&O canal. This particular outing happened to take place after a bomb cyclone had passed through the region.
It was a sunny morning on the trail as we set out on our walk.We encountered quite a few fallen branches on the trail due to the aftereffects of the storm, and, being good citizens, we spent a significant bit of our time cleaning up the trail for those who were going to come after us. (We were not about to break any speed records that day.) And then there were the sections where we could do little to help, sections that would require professional equipment for cleanup.We did encounter cyclists who must have had to carry their bikes over fallen trees.
We did make it to our destination close to the mile 31 marker where Edwards Ferryand lock 25 are locatedbefore turning back to return to our starting point.
The story would not be complete without a picture of the bald eagle that we encountered,and a picture of the chopped up pieces of a fallen tree that we saw beside the trail, a little too late for Valentine’s day. We did about 7 1/2 miles of walking that morning. That is my story and I am sticking to it! 🙂
It has been a somewhat disappointing transition process in our surroundings so far this autumn season. Other than the occasional exceptions, leaves have been slowly but surely falling off the trees without a hint of how colorful and pretty that process can be on a good year. It must be the weather. Nevertheless, we have persisted in looking for the signs of significant change as we walk the C&O canal towpath during the weekends. Last weekend was a particularly drab one, with the threat of bad weather discouraging others in our group from walking with us. But the two of us did go out to check out the changing of the seasons.
Cloudy skies greet us
Near the bend at Blockhouse Cliffs
Well into transition
Low waters on the Potomac
Fallen leaves at Rileys Lock
Regardless of how pretty the process of autumn is in our parts, one cannot escape the feeling of change in the air. The cooler, and soon to be cold, weather forces you to contemplate the winter months that lie ahead. The changes in the landscape remind you that soon it will be time once again to batten down the hatches and power through a time of year that provides a challenge and a mood of its own. The cycle goes on.