Flowing, Together

I’ve always liked the word “confluence” for the fact that, if I could see  and hear through the wall in front of me, I’d experience the joining music and rush of Goose Creek where it merges with Nameless Creek.

Both of “our” creeks are jump-across-able streams alone; together they gain breadth and depth, power and voice.

So I woke up this morning with a gentle rain on the metal roof overhead and have been spinning over and over this notion of flowing together.  It is uncertainties and ideas, fears and hopes of my neighbors that are coming together now in an exciting, bewildering, hopeful confluence.

So I’ll get these water/pipeline/convergence bits out of my head all at once, and you’ll see way too many versions of Goose Creek Mill Dam–a place that represents for me the coming together of human history and need that find its story along waterways, as is so very often the case.

Here’s a “this I believe” short statement about Floyd County water.

And here, at Medium, an essay that was published in the Floyd Press on Thursday and Roanoke Times yesterday, in the event that you might want to read it again, or for the first time. [It’s a BIG image, so scroll down to see the text.]

I’m done. Tomorrow, maybe mushrooms!

Where the Water Goes

Goose Creek: near the coiled western-most reach of the Roanoke

I’m finding threads all over my computer that if pulled, would lead someplace maybe worth going–digital scraps, memos, and saved pointers to all sorts of things I’m interested in pursuing but mostly never will, or am increasingly feeling I’m the only one who gives a rodent’s rump about such geo-eco-trivia.

This screen shot of the Roanoke River drainage came after my two days spent on Rock Castle Creek, when I was wondering where the water goes and how it gets there and about what it sees along the way.

Turns out, the water from Goose Creek meets the water from Rock Castle Creek since the Roanoke and the Dan rivers find each other at what today is Kerr Reservoir and once was an undammed confluence of two sizable rivers. I wonder if there are any pictures of those two rivers flowing together before the dam was built–in what year? More digging required.

So what? I don’t know how to put this factoid in global perspective except that we start understanding and caring about world water by knowing our own watersheds.

The USGS Name Information Service (GNIS) is a good place to start. Just type in the creek or river closest to you for a map. Follow it to its end. Amazing how many people never think about and don’t know where the water comes from, or where it goes.

Here’s the GNIS map for the Dan River just so you can see what a river map looks like.

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