Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Wrack Line

February 16, 2010
Betar Path, South Glens Falls, NY

It was another gloomy day, clouds hanging low with no promise of snow.
The snowpack already on the ground is old and crusty.
At this time of year, while as ever the eye seeks stimulation, the heart grows more satisfied with the Spartan scenery, sensing art and beauty in the plainest of things.

It was a good time to walk along the riverbank, and see what has arrived along the wrack-line.
I've tended to use the term “flotsam & jetsam” for stuff like this, but the proper word for what ends up along a shoreline is “wrack.” It’s more of a seaside term, but seems to apply here.
This part of the river, a pondy section between dams, is subject to level changes (above and beyond the seasonal ones.) Add to that: the ice-up, thawing, break-up, and re-freezing that has been happening all winter here.

No matter what the condition of the river, the ducks always manage to find a bit of open water in which to preen and socialize.

People walk, boat and fish here, and along the river upstream. All sorts of interesting things can be seen if one looks closely.

Here’s the remains of a valentine that seems to say –
“Be Mine – At Least, Until the Ice Goes Out”

The river level has lowered in the past day or two, and a line of debris along the shore reveals the great variety of local plants.
How many can you identify?

Some like the bits of cedar, must have come from far upriver.

In places, the wrack resembles a carefully-arranged still life.

There’s always a little bit of man-made stuff, too, some of it mysterious.

Some of it was crudely cast-off into the river, or lost overboard.

Some of it was meant to fool the real inhabitants.

And some of it, most likely, will be sorely missed!

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