Saturday, October 02, 2010

Above the Wild River

A fallen tree, the gentle tumbling of water and trees on the shore turning red... Not so gentle, for this is but a single shallow step in the roaring waterfalls at Almonte as seen from the boardwalk above the dam. The image was captured with a monster telephoto lens and from quite a distance.

Never underestimate the raw surging energy of torrential waters hurling themselves headlong down a rocky gorge. When one stands on the boardwalk above the Mississippi at Almonte, the structure vibrates with the power and tumult of the waters on their wild passionate voyage to the Ottawa River. Voices cannot be heard on the boardwalk, and one must rely on sign language to converse.

Our own Mississippi River is a little over one hundred miles long. Rising out of Mazinaw Lake east of the Kawarthas, it flows through the Crotch, Dalhousie, and Mississippi Lakes, thence northward to join the Ottawa River near Arnprior.

The name of the river originates, not in the native American form meaning "great water", but probably the Algonquian Mazinaa[bikinigan]-ziibi, meaning "painted image river" - most likely a reference to the ancient pictographs on the cliffs above Mazinaw Lake. My favorite image there depicts Nanabozho, a trickster spirit prominent in Ojibwe storytelling and creation mythologies - he is kin (and much like) the Abenaki trickster spirit Ganoozhigaabe (or Glooscap).

I am fond of the Mississippi in all her moods for she is the mother of my favorite little rivers in the Lanark Highlands, the Clyde, Indian and Fall rivers.

3 comments:

liliannattel said...

Beautiful picture and fascinating explanation. I didn't know that about the river, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I rarely comment on the blogs I read but I just want to tell you that I love yours---every day. Thank you for this little grace note in my life.
Sarah

Pallas Renatus said...

*lens jealousy*