FLOOD STAGE (and PARIS)

Flowing slow and shallow in summer but regularly obliterating its borders in other seasons, the Snoqualmie River loops a curly path through rich farmland east of Seattle, not far from where I live.  Two weeks ago abundant rain caused its banks to overflow again and closed roads in the valley.  I went out to see what might be interesting to photograph that first weekend of November. It was the season of last leaves clinging to branches for one more day, fallen apples rotting in the grass, and damp, chill winds.

At a bend in the road where I could stand near the ever-expanding river’s edge, I saw a beautiful, tangled scene of leafy chaos.

(What beauty was there in the chaos of that theater in Paris yesterday? None.)

I tried to make an image that would convey the scene, but the scope was so much bigger than what I could get on a webpage.

(And how overwhelming does the flood of terrorism feel to Parisians today?)

 

The year has been dry here, sparse snowfall in the mountains last winter reducing some waterways down to trickles over the summer. So the heavy rain two weeks ago wasn’t a bad thing. As I type, another storm system floods the river again, but the valley will absorb this storm, as it has taken on countless storms for longer than we’ve known.

(And how many more storms of terrorism can we, must we, absorb?)

November – such a stunning ruin of a month. There is razor-sharp, dark beauty as nature takes its course, pruning and destroying.

(And what of the famous beauty of Paris today?)

Following the river south to Fall City, I turn back north on Fall City-Redmond Road, making a wide loop around the valley.  I spot a narrow lane heading down into a sea of lichen-covered branches and stop to investigate. The rain spits and falters as I wander down the road.

There’s nothing dramatic here. No mountain vista or wide sea impresses the eye. A sign indicates that this bit of wetland has been preserved for salmon, the soul animal of Puget Sound. These tough fish continue to live out their life-rhythm, tracking between fresh and salt water and back again, thanks to people who took note of this modest little piece of land and kept it safe.

(Does the future hold that for us? Sould we narrow our beloved cities and wildlands down into safe preserves for people to live without terrorism?)

Rain soaks the scene into a sweet blur.

I can’t stay out in this too much longer – it’s chilly and my camera’s getting wet.

On a rise an old apple tree holds memories of fruitful summers. That could be the last shot of the day.

(And when will we hear the last shot of terrorism?)


33 comments

  1. Beuatiful images Lynn! You have such a good eye and I love the way you echo your peaceful thoughts contemplating such beauty with the thoughts of such horrors. You’d think the beauty we had in this world would be enough for any of us but power and control is all that counts for some and the evil they perpetrate to get it is beyond the scope of any decent person’s comprehension.

    • Interesting thought. It IS beyond comprehension, and would that beauty could win over power and control. Would that being in nature could be enough, as long as one has food, shelter and some freedom. But the call of ISIS is powerful for some people. Social media plays a big role. So here we are, building our own peaceful corner in the social media world, a small but persistent voice for another way.

  2. These are beautiful images and have been woven as an effective counterpoint with your thoughts and feelings following the recent atrocity. Your post invites us to pause, reflect and meditate.

  3. That one was so soft in the focus that I almost wasn’t going to use it, then I realized all I needed to do was go with the softness and increase it a bit. Interesting shooting in the rain! Thanks, Scott.

  4. A very thoughtful post, Lynn, and you ask some very pertinent questions. I do hope an answer is found very soon. This can’t go on. It’s too dreadful for words. Those red leaves reminded me of the spilled blood in Paris.

    • Thanks for that! There’s a risk of losing the impact of the photos when you add strong words. Great to hear from you, and I hope all is well with you – busy, but not TOO busy.

  5. Thank you, Shimon – I have been unable to visit blogs much lately and look forward to getting back to yours. I bet all the moisture in these photos looks good to you! It’s been really soaking wet here lately. Hope you’re well!

  6. You’ve found such fading soft beauty on your walk Lynne to share with us … a time to appreciate the last remnants that nature has left for us before the real Winter chills . Your words are very much in keeping with the whole terrible situation .
    Am glad you had time to put this post together in lots of ways . Lovely photos full of atmosphere .

  7. Beautiful set of photos and the way you weave your words and feelings into these scenes is a gift ~ while the mood (of both nature and its people) may be gloomy, there is always the next day when the sun can shine…finding beauty, something you do very well Lynne.

  8. Another beautiful post – and journey – from you. Once again I feel like I’m there too. Favourite images? The top one, and the 5th one down – and that lovely old tree in the last one too. And terrorism? I feel that we are on a long road. A

    • I think you’re right – a long road. It’s intractable, it seems. For many reasons. The first and fifth could be my favs too. One is tempted sometimes to just post the better images by themselves, but if they work as part of a bigger story, I just go with that. Thanks for your time Adrian!

  9. So many beautiful feelings of sweet and sad melancholy in your glorious shots. I find it unbearable to think that certain people are incapable of seeing the simplest beauty and are intent only on destruction.


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