Fog is actually common on the Ohio River, but looking through my images, I’m surprised by how few fog pictures I have taken here. On my last foray to the Falls, the day began extremely foggy like moving within a cloud. Visibility was limited. The railroad bridge was completely obscured, but as the sun rose and the temperature became warmer the fog dissipated quickly. It was another magical moment of transformation as the receding water-cloud revealed the driftwood bones of the park.
Walking to my outdoor atelier, I passed by this unusual sight. At first, I thought the large tree stump was a part of this sign, but upon inspection, saw that a single rusty nail attached this sign to the wood. There is no way this sign could survive the river secured so loosely. Someone before me found this sign and stuck it on the stump up for grabs in true river junk fashion. Since I collect signs from the river…this was perfect and I welcomed the new addition to my collection! After removing the sign from the stump I understood why its original discoverer left it behind. The sign was on a heavy, thick board that had been routed and painted green with yellow letters. I stashed the sign under some debris and picked it back up on my way home. As you can imagine, my wife was thrilled to see it like she is with all the other junk I haul out of here. I liked the sign’s message which is ecological in its own way. I wonder where it came from and what kind of electric motors is it referring to…perhaps electric golf carts? Navigating through the dense driftwood, I made my way to the river’s edge. Waves were lapping the shoreline and there were other surprises to come.
This is the moment I met the first of the Flood Brothers. I had heard of them before and I was pleased to finally get to meet one. They are called the Flood Brothers because in their own “Chicken Little” way instead of the sky falling…they are rumored to believe the world is in imminent danger of being inundated. For this reason they wear life jackets and flotation devices everywhere they venture particularly along the river. They are living legends in this part of the world.
This is a close-up portrait of Flood Brother #1…henceforth identified as F.B.1. He has blue lips like he has been out in the cold too long. His eyes have this jaundiced quality to them and they are slightly asymmetrical as well. The ears stick out some and he has spiked hair. Aside from looking goofy…he is a friendly enough guy and hailed me upon sighting me. I told him it was a pleasure to meet him and was his brother around too? As it turns out…Flood Brother #2 was not far away and after walking a short distance along the shoreline, we ran into him as well.
Flood Brother #2 or F.B.2 is the larger and older of the two. Like his smaller brother he wears a flotation device every where he travels along the river. You can tell they are brothers because they share some physical characteristics such as large ears and mismatched eyes which are more pronounced in the older brother. As it turns out, he is also the more nervous of the pair.
I asked them if it was true that they believe the world would be destroyed in a great cataclysmic flood? For argument’s sake F.B.2 qualified things by saying that more unusual events had happened during the Earth’s long history. As it turned out, they were more concerned about the quality and quantity of fresh water. Climate change is rewriting things and there is just so much more “free” water in the system that formerly was locked up as ice. That energy is changing the weather patterns and redistributing water across the globe. Some places were now getting too much and other places not enough. And yes the potential to redraw the world’s coastlines also existed. Whether all this would happen overnight or over the course of many years seemed irrelevant to the pair. The life jackets were just a necessary precaution to them because they were conducting their research along the river in all its many moods and it just seemed a logical safety thing to do. The pair was visiting the Falls of the Ohio and inspecting the park for water-born plastic of which there was plenty to see. As the brothers told me…this plastic has a very good chance of making it into the oceans where it has effects of its own. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that they were already preaching to the converted. Instead, I invited them to my studio under the willow trees to rest and talk further and they accepted my invitation. My site was just a short distance away.
Looking around the Flood Brothers could see that I was interested in many of the same concerns that they had and wasn’t it all so absurd after all? I told them my story and that all the stuff they saw in my little area came from the immediate river. I mentioned that I try to find creative ways to use this junk and to tell the story about a place I find to be very special. They asked me if I happened to see along the way a nice sign they had attached to a stump? I confessed that I had and wanted to repurpose it as part of my sign collection. The Flood Brothers just smiled and said I could have it. After visiting for a while, it was time for me to go home. I told the brothers they were welcome to hang out in my site and perhaps I will see them here again? I liked them as characters. With one last look back I saw F.B. 1 waving good-bye to me. I always have an interesting day at the Falls of the Ohio.
This story marks my four-year anniversary on WordPress . Hard to believe the time has flown by so quickly. Thanks for tagging along!!