River’s a-rising …

There’s a New Brunswick folk-song that the Henchmen used to sing back in the sixties, which begins, “River’s a-rising, the ice is all gone. / Logs are now ready to float to Saint John …” We’re just back from a couple of days over in the St. John River valley, and this week, the St. John’s a-rising.

Path to the river - the interval under water

They don’t float great rafts of logs down to the mills of Saint John any more, though the Spouse remembers seeing them still when he was a boy. Now there’s just the occasional tree that’s had its roots swept away, heading down to the Reversing Falls and out to sea. It’s a very calm, steady sort of flood, rising day by day. It was high enough this weekend that the cable ferry at Gagetown was “hors de service”; I imagine Evandale isn’t running either, though we didn’t go downriver to find out. The interval was flooded up almost to the old Saint John to Fredericton railway line.

Mist on the flooded St. John

It was a cool, rainy few days, but there was a lot of wildlife out and about, salamanders, eagles, ducks and geese galore. Mr Wicked was quite interested in the fox (possibly Kitsune-kun from the “KV reads ‘The Storyteller’ to a fox” video, or one of her descendants). He’s a very social dog and, although he likes visiting the river, he feels the lack of canine friends in the vicinity. If only the fox would share his interest in soccer balls …. He sat and barked at her across the orchard. She gave him an offended look and left. The groundhog disappeared when barked at, too. He missed the moose by virtue of being inside when it trotted across the orchard like an ungainly horse, pausing to do a bit of browsing on the way.

Moose, blurrily through a window

At night, the spring peepers were unceasing; when they surround you, it’s a bit like being inside a very high-pitched thunderstorm: rolling clouds of sound that ebb and swell and drown out all other sound. The hummingbirds are back already, though I can’t imagine what they’re feeding on; I saw two dog-tooth violets (trout lilies) and aside from a dandelion or so, that was it for blooms where we were. But perhaps the neighbours have daffodils and forsythia. We put out the hummingbird feeder. It seemed to be appreciated. (I.e. aerial dogfights over pecking order ensued.)

I didn’t get as much writing done as I’d hoped, but on the canine fun scale, the visit was a success. The new soccer ball was thoroughly punctured and deflated and much mud was splashed in. Mr. Wicked is now, definitely, due for a bath.

"How come everyone but me gets rubber boots?"

About K.V. Johansen

The author of Blackdog, The Leopard, The Lady, and Gods of Nabban, epic fantasies from Pyr, I also write for teens and children, including the "Torrie", "Warlocks of Talverdin", and "Cassandra Virus" series, and the "Pippin and Mabel" picture books, as well as a couple of short story collections and two works of adult literary criticism on the history of children's fantasy literature. I have a Master's degree in Mediaeval Studies, and read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and history. Blog at thewildforest.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to River’s a-rising …

  1. M. Howalt says:

    It looks like a lovely place! And as if Mr. Wicked had lots of fun.

  2. KV Johansen says:

    Yes, it’s very peaceful over there. The Wicked Beastie generally enjoys wading in the river; he was just a little taken aback to find it wasn’t in its usual place. I thought that photo really caught his mistrust of the changed landscape quite well. Most of time, he was dashing around so much that I have the usual sequence of photos of the tip of an ear or a curl of disappearing tail.

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