Wednesday, December 3, 2014

James River (12/1/2014)

I posted a small write up on the James River approximately 9 months ago (click here if you like to see that one).  However, here I go again.  It was such a beautiful day on Monday that I had to go for a walk that took me again along the James river in Richmond.  It was great to meditate on the old railroad bridge that juts out over part of the river and think about the force of that water and about where all those drops of water have been.  You can think about where the drop was introduced into the watershed, or even become more philosophical about it and wonder where those molecules have been in the past.  Were they in a drop of sweat that was beading up on the forehead of Leonardo da Vinci or where have those molecules been in the past.  I have mused about things like this before in a blog I did that I called George Washington's shovel.  But water is an amazing thing; without it life is not possible.  Moreover, the way it freezes is important.  If it froze like any other substance would when it cools down, life would be impossible.

We teach that of all the water in the world only 6% is available to us.  All the other water is locked up in ways that we cannot get to it.  Of the 5.85% is in the oceans, leaving only 0.15% usable/fresh water.  Of this fresh water two thirds of it is locked up in glaciers and the remaining is either groundwater or fresh water.  In other words 0.05% of the water on earth is available to us for consumption.  I guess this is why I am always a bit upset when I watch people water their lawns, and especially so when they do it with valuable drinking water.  It is such a waste in my eyes.

Anyway, this another picture of the James.  One of these days I am going to create an extensive post on the river; showing pictures of it's origin (headwaters) to it's outfall into the Bay.  The picture below shows the jumble of the various bridges that go across the river: the road bridge and the I-95 bridge in the far back; the old pilings of a railroad bridge to Petersburg within the back a railroad bridge to Danvville and on the side the main track from Lynchburg.  A virtual spaghetti bowl of bridges and ruins of bridges.  What amazes me that they were able to build them on the spot where the river goes over the fall line.  Just looking at the force f the water amazes me.

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