Left: Ottawa River, Toledo Ohio
(Toledo, OH) When I drove past Ottawa Park Monday evening, the Ottawa River had completely flooded the lower ground. The footbridge was all but invisible, with only the top of the handrail visible.
The waters have receded today, although they are still above their normal levels. Massive sections of tree trunks were strewn along the banks, and one particularly large tree was wedged under the bridge.
The water rushed through the park with an audible roar; the Ottawa, a normally placid river, is still a raging torrent of boiling water even though its level is falling. Being caught in its rapids or undertows would be dangerous today.
Workers were busy in the park this morning, picking up debris and marking off dangerous areas with yellow caution tape. The floodplain of the river in Ottawa Park is also part of the golf course, and the warm weather is sure to bring out the duffers in the next few days.
For the park's waterfowl, today was just another day of doing whatever it is that ducks do all day.
These Mallards were swimming in the park pond, seemingly unaware of the damage wrought along the Ottawa River. Shouts from a group of nearby kids caused them to take flight, wings flapping over my head like helicopter blades.
City parks are like oases in the middle of urban sprawl, places where weary travelers can drink from the refreshing spiritual waters to quench their thirst for nature.
It's too bad the water itself is not fit to drink, but that is another story altogether.