All posts tagged: river

The Greenery of Arizona

You might not think of the word ‘green’ when you think of Arizona – but the State is more than just desert with a few cactus! The Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens is a showcase of arid-land plants from deserts around the world. This Dale Chihuly Glass Sculpture– Desert Towers welcomes visitors. It was installed as the entry-point to Chihuly’s first Desert Botanical exhibition in 2008. The installation was purchased by the Garden as a legacy to the exhibition. East of Phoenix are the Superstition Mountains. In the spring, they sport a coat of green, sprinkled with bursts of color when the desert plants bloom. The mountains rise steeply to an elevation of 5,024 feet, and are characterized by sheer-sided, jagged, volcanic peaks and ridges. North and east of Phoenix is the Water Users Recreation Site on the Salt River in Tonto National Forest. The Tonto National Forest, encompassing 2,873,200 acres, is the largest of the six national forests in Arizona and is the fifth largest national forest in the United States. North of Phoenix is …

Golf Carts and Corn Stalks – After Flood Perspectives

Our eyes are side by side – we just naturally look at life in a horizontal perspective! In the aftermath of the Flood at Hidden Valley, Alberta, a few things that were once vertically aligned are now in a horizontal position. This golf cart near the 4th green has become a little greenhouse for what looks like a sunflower plant! I turned the camera and took a vertical shot of the 4th fairway. It is now a lush forest of new poplar saplings and – a few more sunflower plants. I continued walking along the 4th, past the Half Way house, then to the 6th green and bunkers. In addition to much more beach area, I found a corn plant. This vertical photo shows the lush green growth of the grass – and a few more of the many corn plants in that area! The Car Guy and I think that bird feed must have been scattered by the flood waters. The wet, nutrient rich silt encouraged the seeds to germinate and grow very quickly.  …

Foreshadow of a Flood – Rain Clouds

Sometimes clouds, not fluffy ones like these, but dark, rain filled ones – settle in over the Rocky Mountains and dump buckets of water. If they do this when these mountains are still covered with their winter coats of snow, then disaster will follow. Frozen little mountain streams turn into torrents which then fill the rivers they feed. As the rivers flow east, they merge – creating even more powerful forces. By the time the Bow River got to where this picture was taken at the Community of Hidden Valley, it was flowing faster and higher than it ever had in our lifetimes. This photo foreshadows  what was to come. Edward VIII replaced his fly buttons with a zip, a revolutionary move; and his Fair Isle pullovers, shorts and Windsor knots were considered by some to foreshadow the end of Empire. – Angus McGill – To see other photos from this Challenge: Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

Hidden Valley – Re-entry

There’s no such thing as a 100-year flood. – Andrew Cuomo – Our Cabin before the flood – of 2013 …  after being rebuilt by the previous owners after the floods of 1995 and 2005. Our place after the flood. The cabin was lifted by the water,  rotated almost 90 degrees, and then set back down in a different location. The front of the cabin – the sunroom was torn off, leaving only its roof. The back of the cabin came to rest against one of the outbuildings in the neighbour’s yard. The blue bench in the foreground of this photo was part of the deck that was attached to the back of our cabin. This deck is now on the far side of the neighbour’s yard. There is a row of flat rocks on the top rail of this blue bench – I put the rocks there, and they did not move though the deck floated more than 60 feet and turned a full 180 degrees. (We’ll rescue the rocks!) The same deck as …

Hidden Valley – A Community Lost

The Siksika Nation chose not to renew the Lease for Hidden Valley. Insurance companies will likely refuse to compensate cabin owners for loss from the  overland flooding of the Mighty Bow River in Alberta. Provincial and Federal Governments might choose to provide Disaster Assistance to some who lost their primary residence. The result: the majority of people at Hidden Valley will have to walk away with nothing to show for years and years of pioneer like effort. With the stroke of a pen, the people in power will finish the destruction of a Community. None of them will think to ask what was, in years gone by, perhaps the most important question, “What is the value of a community?” Unlike some of the people at Hidden Valley, my cabin is not my primary home. But like so many other people out there, Hidden Valley is the only community I really belong to. Yes, my principal residence is in a rural area that is high and dry (except for the hail and now – more rain), …

After a Flood – Responding to Stress

I read a study the other day that looked at post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in flood victims. The study observed the long term effects on residents of a flood in Poland in 1997. I was struck by the similarities between that flood and the floods here in Alberta – a sudden and huge water level rise; lack of adequate alert time; little or no time to deploy preventive measures; the permanence of disruptions and the lack of social and psychological support. Little or no financial compensation from any source was also a factor, and I expect that may be a reality for many of the residents of Hidden Valley too. Now, I’m not going to make light of this, because I think it is important for each and every one of us to think about why we might be feeling the way we are today, and understand why we might still be feeling ‘off’ years from now if we don’t actively seek solutions. We didn’t just lose our cabins or homes – we lost …

Cabin For Sale

FOR SALE: one cabin in Hidden Valley. Completely renovated in 2005. Last seen on Antelope Street. Must be moved as lease will not be renewed. Exterior amenities include one trampoline, numerous pieces of lawn furniture, fire pit, and several garden sheds – maybe. Also possibly one hot tub, assuming the electrical cord that kept it tethered in the yard during the last flood does the same job this time. Located off site are two golf carts, one gasoline and one electric. Last seen with several hundred or so similar vehicles near the Club House. Easy to identify – one is red and one is blue.

Four Hours to Evacuate at the Cabin

June 20, 2013: The mighty Bow River is flooding. The Cabin and Golf Resort at Hidden Valley on the Siksika Reserve  is in danger of being inundated. We left the cabin at Hidden Valley at about 11:30 PM (June 20) and were safely home several hours later. We had loaded our little travel trailer with as much stuff from the cabin as we had time to pack in the 4 or so hours we had to evacuate. The rest of the stuff – we either moved  to the loft, or simply put up onto the top of the cabinets in the kitchen. No time to think much about what to haul away and what to leave. No time to take any last pictures. No time to say good-bye to anyone. Just get loaded up and out of there so that we didn’t block the route of all the other trucks and trailers that were trying to load and get out. The evacuation siren was going continuously. Unsettling. We saw many people with big utility trailers …

Skipping Stones across the Ice – When The River Freezes

I had no idea that Stone Skipping was a competitive sport. If you doubt this claim,  then head on over to the Mackinac Island Stone Skipping and Gerplunking Website! Most people know what Stone Skipping is, but may not have heard about Gerplunking. “Gerplunk” – the sound a that a rock makes when it hits a body of water! In 2009, winter weather arrived before we could close up the cabin. The water lines froze, making the shut down a challenge.  But a wonderful thing had happened at the lake and on the side channels of the river. A fairly thick layer of ice formed on the water, but there was also a large air pocket separating the ice from the water. Nature had created a drum, of sorts. We all spent a few hours skipping rocks over the ice. They made such an interesting series of sounds  as they bounced along the surface – “pock, tickety tock, tock, tock, tock, tock…” We counted the tock sounds, just as we would have counted the skips …