It’s a wonderful spring day on the debris heap. On the old bridge several diesel trains have been carrying their vital shipments back and forth across the Ohio River. These trains are also a noisy element here when they are crossing. Among the other sounds you can count on hearing are the aircraft about to land at the local airport and the sound of the river flowing under the gates.
The flooding we experienced a few short weeks a go has left a lot of debris deposited at the Falls. During the height of the water, the area I’m exploring today was a watery gyre of spinning driftwood, junk, and plastic jugs and bottles. It’s dry now and in the eastern section of the park under the railroad bridge. You can’t miss it because in places it must be 12 to 15 feet tall. It’s all interwoven logs and debris and it can be very treacherous walking here. You always must be careful where you place your foot and weight because it might just be an air pocket covered in paper and leaves that can cause you to fall into a hole. It would be no fun walking out of here with an injury. I usually have a long walking stick with me to help me maintain my balance walking over the backs of logs.
If you are careful, you can explore this wooden mound safely. It presents several interesting vantage points for photography.
Naturally, I’m also on the look out for interesting objects that have come to rest here. My collecting sack soon fills with mostly plastic artifacts.
This wooden mound has waves of its own. It has peaks and valleys and you can sense how the water moved from the artifacts that were swept along and how and where they came to rest. The lightest stuff like plastic bottles are good indicators of how far the margins extend and where drainage occurred.
After exploring the area and collecting materials, I soon had another temporary studio going. This time I’m not finding any huge sections and chunks of Styrofoam around. There are, however, lots of smaller pieces absolutely everywhere. I gathered these pieces up and soon I was making a figure to take advantage of this riverscape configuration at the Falls of the Ohio.
I found a spot with a good view of the city and made this guy. His name comes from the spot where I left him. I can feel that my face has received more sun than unusual and since I didn’t bring any sun block…decide that it’s time to go back home.
The place is marked by a “Danger” buoy that drifted in with all the other debris.
Around “Danger” are all kinds of other junk mixed among the driftwood. Tires are ubiquitous as are all the plastic containers and playground balls. Among the natural materials are wood (limb and lumber), nuts, dried reeds, and lots of shredded tree bark.
I’ve been busy cataloguing with photographs all the small items I found and collected from the Falls over the years. I have posts to come of that material. I also have several other figures and adventures to relate to you. With this project you have no choice, but to work with the river and I have been trying to play catch up where and when I can. The next expedition takes place in the western section of the park. There I will attempt to capture images of an unusual animal rumored to have been seen there recently. Wish me luck!