Everyone here at Riverbend Park has seen some form of the water rising at one point or another. Some of us have seen the raging overflow of whitewater pouring from the trails, others have seen the picnic areas flooded out and have chased picnic tables down the river. Others still have seen only small increases that close the boat ramp. This time, we’re not quite to raging whitewater, but this one is still pretty exciting.
We keep track of the rising waters through a couple of means. Our first one is just by looking. The longer you’re at the park, the more you recognize the different rocks and islands out there. What starts as this…
…and turns into this…
…tends to be pretty easy to spot. Another way is to look at the caution levels painted on our boat ramp. When the boat ramp closes, you know it’s getting high.
Finally, we also look online. We use information collected from our friends at NOAA to follow the changing water levels. You can do so as well here.
Nature doesn’t have the chance to look online or collect data. The animals at Riverbend Park deal with floods the best way they know how, which is to move! Snakes, geese, spiders, and dragonflies are just some of the animals heading for higher ground as the water rises and speeds up. Check out some of the neat ways these guys are keeping safe near home:
Be sure to check out the river this Mother’s Day weekend…though you might want to save the Potomac Heritage Trail for another weekend.
By Michelle Brannon, naturalist, Riverbend Park