May 142016
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We have an ongoing conversation, the river and I. Almost daily I cross her path, twice. She shows me her splendid colours and the elegance of her flow, sinuously weaving through the shingle beds, part of the baggage she’s carried from the alps. Dainty pink maiden’s blush downriver in the mornings; Lighting up in blue and gold in the evenings to the West. Always preening her finery.

The last few days have been different. Testament to the intensity of downpours on the West Coast – she swelled and surged with energy, a thick greybrown silt laden flow. Up to 1134 cubic metres per second yesterday. Thats a lot of water. Scouring the banks and weeds. “We needed this”, the ECan man said. “Cleans out the weeds that protect predators of our endangered birds nesting” in response to my enquiry. Ahh. I hadn’t thought about that. Or the fact that she’s squished and squeezed into this narrow path between the stopbanks, where they have to monitor her swelling girth and ensure she’s still contained. The river should be able to spread out in flood. “Used to flow through Christchurch” he said. Can’t have that then, can we?

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  4 Responses to “Flow, Waikmakariri River – May 2016”

  1. We are amazed at the power of the river. In flood, you would think the creek behind our house would swell. But instead, by the time it gets to the ‘turn-off’ to our creek, it just powers out to sea! A mighty river! 🙂

  2. Would love to have seen it at your end! Love the energy 😊

  3. When you fly to Christchurch from Sydney the route follows the river from the foothills – most of the way it is aiming directly for the middle of the city and only at the last minutes does it turn left and head for Tim and Anns place. One day, in a mood like this, its going to change back… And then everyone will say “what a silly place to build a city”….Again!!!

  4. Jenny, I just love the way you connect with things, this time the river and all its moods. To me this shows a deep feeling and empathy. I love too, how your last words reflect a real sorrow for the entrapment – for how we as humans want to trap and control everything … we do. I am always reminded of a saying I once heard “the mother never takes sides she always creates balance”. Well, we all know how the balance has tipped ……

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