My current commute, such as it is, takes me along when of Connecticut’s nicer rivers: the Farmington. Aside from bird watching for bald eagles while driving, it is always interesting to study the river itself. It is a tame, little river compared to many in North America, though it is bigger than one thinks it is.

The water level in it is largely at the mercy and whim of man; throughout the 1800’s and into the 1900’s, it repeatedly flooded with catastrophic results. Many bridges and chunks of communities went downstream due to spring ice and summer hurricanes. Flood control dams, major drinking water reservoirs, downstream power dams, and the interests of the trout industry all conspire for a constantly managed water flow.

Still in the summer, the rocky, rapid nature emerges. Snags appear and disappear, and the water has a glinting blue color. It is fast running and clear.

And then there are days like today, swollen by the night’s torrential rain on frozen ground. It almost seemed sluggish, how deceptive an appearance, and had risen above its normal high water level,so it had a curious weight: filling its banks completely. The light, even though clear, in the setting sun was that grim pewter color with the faintest tints of orange. A cold reflection. Colder, somehow, than late winter when it is black water is crowned in white ice.