Friday, June 29, 2007

A Raging Torrent

Gravois Creek, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - creek during floodingThe normally-placid Gravois Creek becomes a raging torrent due to recent heavy rains. This photo was taken just upstream from where it empties into the Rivière des Pères in south Saint Louis city. I noticed a tremendous amount of floating debris and trash, some of it quite large, being swept down by the current, destined for New Orleans.

This creek, named by the early French settlers, is heavily modified and prone to flooding in its lower stretches; but its upper reaches flow perennially, fed by transparent, cool water from numerous, obscure springs. Even though it flows through an urbanized area, much of the creek, flanked by a broad ribbon of woodland in its valley, almost appears to be a remote wilderness, and is the haunt of deer, opossums, and coyotes, as well as vast assortment of wildflowers and native trees.

There is another Gravois Creek in Missouri, partially flooded by the Lake of the Ozarks.

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