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The Suwannanoa River Thawing after the Big Freeze

 Suwannanoa River in Winter

Suwannanoa River in Winter

The Suwannanoa River flows by Warren Wilson College in Suwannanoa, North Carolina, and has a walking trail with signs about the riparian landscape.  The banks are left mostly wild, and there is a beautiful grove of yellow bamboo.  This was the first warm day after an arctic blast and there was still ice in the river.

 Warren Wilson Student Testing the Waters

Warren Wilson Student Testing the Waters

While I was photographing, a student ventured out on the rock to test the water.  When I passed by, Takoda and I stopped and sat on the rock with her for awhile.  We talked about the river and how much cleaner it is than so many of the rivers I photographed in Florida.  She told me about a mountain spring between Suwannanoa and Black Mountain where they go to fill up bottles of water. When I asked what she was studying, Loti said she is a biology student but is most interested in studying water quality.  It instantly struck me that having someone who wanted to connect with and wade in a waterway was exactly the type of water quality expert we need in these environmentally challenging times.  I was heartened by her talk and she said she was inspired by it.

 Suwannanoa River with Fallen Branches

Suwannanoa River with Fallen Branches

The few moments of sunshine we experience faded and we were left with a dark, mysterious day that added an ominous tone to the heaps of fallen branches and trees that were swept here by the current when the water was hider.

 Takoda Being an Excellent Photography Dog on  Patrol over my pack

Takoda Being an Excellent Photography Dog on  Patrol over my pack

  Winter Sky Along the Suwannanoa


Winter Sky Along the Suwannanoa

I looked up at the winter sky with the tips of the branches all growing together and felt part of a giant web.  Suddenly I heard these loud bugling calls coming from another direction and quickly rushed over with my camera towards a small opening in the tree cover.

 Branches and Cranes Migrating South

Branches and Cranes Migrating South

I hoped they would find food to eat and stay warm enough at night. The images below were from the other section of the bridge heading away from Wawrren Wilson and past the delapitdated bridge.

 Suwannanoa Wild Riparian Landscape

Suwannanoa Wild Riparian Landscape

Takoda and I climbed tout to a spit of land to make this image.It gave me a central location without having to be a bot.

 Suwannanoa River at Dusk

Suwannanoa River at Dusk

This was the end of the day.  I was grateful to have seen the river as it was thawing.  The light was going , which perhaps made it even more peaceful.  Winter on the river is just as rewarding, maybe more so than spring, since it is so intimate.