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Bayou Fountain — March 7, 2015


Bayou Fountain — March 7, 2015

Beautiful day on Bayou Fountain

We expected a cold day of hard work on Bayou Fountain.  What we found was one of the most beautiful days we’ve seen.

When the rains come and the water rises, it tends to carry a lot with it.  Old logs shift around.  New logs wash down.  On rare occasions, a tree may fall.  One way or another, high water generally means we expect more than the usual work to do when we head down the bayou, and Bayou Fountain had been up into the side of Rackley Bridge.  Since it hadn’t been that high in some time, it promised to be a “fun” day.

Behind the Not-So-Great Wall of Fountain

For two miles, there were no problems at all.  With only two feet between the surface of the water and the bottom of Rackley Bridge, ducking was certainly in order.  Other than that, it was completely smooth sailing with not a hint of an obstruction.  There was very little current, and the views were quite nice with the water a few feet higher than “normal”.  Standing up in the canoe at the Not-So-Great Wall of Fountain (mostly not submerged) was enough to get a shot of the pond behind it and the bridge to the (mostly submerged) island in the center of the pond.  After that, however, it was time to get to work.

Watch out for that... tree.

Just downstream from the large second powerline crossing (and old number 15, which was clear), a large tree trunk had floated down and ended up completely across the bayou.  Behind it was a large (but not *too* large) collection of logs, branches, tree trunks, litter, and general collected flotsam.  With the water high and without the usual assistance, I reached into the bucket of tricks and deployed rope and pulleys for the first time in a while.  (It was less work than the winch and all that.)  It took a bit of effort to drag the large trunk into a secure position parallel to the bayou, and then there was quite a bit of sawing and raking to cut up and clear out everything that had accumulated.  After 2-1/2 hours of work, the way was clear, and the day continued.

Yellow flowers.

Just a bit downstream from the big catch, a half-fallen tree with lots of hanging vines was making an effort to rebuild the catch.  Another half hour of work had the low branches and most of the vines cut off and turned into a large collection of small linear pieces that will not be a problem.  (If the tree ever finishes falling, it shouldn’t be too bad, either.  It’s branchy, but not too thick.)  After one more brief stop and a tiny pause to cut one wire-thick vine that had captured a log, all the work was done.  Nothing was left but enjoying the day.

Impending Spring on Bayou Fountain

What had begun as a somewhat chilly morning (but not too bad, as chilly mornings have gone of late) was turning into a glorious spring day.  The water was up enough that the going was easy but not so high as to put you up in the tree branches.  The sky was an amazing blue.  The sun was pleasantly warm.  And all about, signs of spring were appearing.

Marching showers bring spring flowers?

I haven’t had a “real” camera since my nice Canon and lenses were… relocated without authorization… some time ago, but I don’t miss it *too* often except on days like this.  I’d have loved to be a non-paddling passenger out there, able to spend hours and hours filling memory cards with the photographic memories they ought to have been named after.  Still, my little waterproof point-and-shoot does a decent enough job, and on a day as great as this, I’d probably have spent more time gawking than shooting, anyway.

Bayou Fountain in spring

I did run across at least a few people, including a couple guys in a shiny new canoe, but I felt a bit sorry for all the people I didn’t see out there.  It seemed a shame not to get to enjoy such a perfect day, one that reminds me of why we love being out on the water.  Hopefully with us working toward getting more and better paddle access (and maintaining our great waterways), it’ll keep getting easier to go out for a paddle.  We’re also about to kick off the fun stuff again — with the weather warming, our recreational sides are coming out of hibernation and ready to start having paddle events again.  That and more coming up, so stay tuned.

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