Monday, June 16, 2008

Missouri River Pictures

My blog has gained more popularity of late—all because of that painting by Lucian Freud that I added a few weeks ago. Nearly everyday now, there are people directed to this site because of their search for that particular painting and other paintings of naked women. That degree of popularity makes me lose interest in blogging. My relative obscurity was more appealing. This entry marks my first attempt at updating this blog in several weeks.

My heart goes out to those people flooded out of their homes in Iowa and those victims of tornadoes in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. A natural disaster, and losing one's home, compounds the heartache that many of us have known because of a job loss, high gas prices, and economic uncertainty in general. Our weather in this part of the country has been particularly severe. We haven’t gone a week without rain this spring. The Missouri River in this part of Kansas has been running high since May.

The first two pictures are the most recent while the other ones here record the extent of the flooding in May. Because much of the rain this spring has either been to the south or to the north, the Missouri River hasn't been as destructive as the Des Moines River or the Cedar River. The flooding around here occurred earlier in the season last year, with the greatest amount of destruction occurring along the Platte River (in Missouri) and downriver along the Missouri.

Even though Colonel Leavenworth in his 1827 expedition to create a fort on the eastern side of the Missouri violated his orders and crossed into Indian Territory, he, in hindsight, had the sense to build the fort on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri instead of on the floodplain on the eastern side. Flooding does occur here, nonetheless. Several downtown businesses were flooded out a couple of years ago when one of the creeks that empties into the Missouri grew so swollen that it left its banks and backed up to a height of at least six feet.

Back in May, the current on the Missouri was so swift that I had to use a faster setting on my camera to avoid having my shots of the river blur. The triangular cable tie-ups on the white dock in these pictures were buffeted by the current so much that the rapid up and down motion created a kind of music, making the movement of the river audible.