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River Mood A Photo Gallery along the Wisconsin River
Most of my life I’ve been near rivers. First was the Mississippi River which was about a mile from our home in Northeast Minneapolis and when we moved it was about half a mile. For a year in High School I went to De La Salle High, which was actually on an island in the river. A good portion of my work life was spent at the Rock Island Arsenal, which also was on an Island in the Mississippi river. Now I am in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, which has the Wisconsin River flowing through it.
Even for us that do not spend a lot of time on the river, it's sometimes captivating. Often we are unaware of the hold the river has on us, until we get away from it. Then we have a tendency to seek another river until we get back to our own. I don’t really know if the river has moods or if it inspires moods in us. When I was at Rock Island I often spent my lunchtime walking the riverside. Although in the springtime it was often flooded and sandbags were loaded along the shoreline to create a barrier to the river that wanted to flood the island. In the wintertime the surface was sometimes frozen and river traffic was stalled, at least temporarily.
The Wisconsin River is not as big. It is about 430 miles long. The name Wisconsin evolved from earlier names and is probably a corruption of an Indian name. It was first given to the river, than a territory acquired the name until it finally designated the name of the current sate of Wisconsin. The river originates in Northern Wisconsin in Lac Vieux Desert near the Upper Michigan Peninsula; it crosses the central Wisconsin glacier plain. Eventually it joins with the Mississippi about three miles south of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
Probably more than the river having moods is that the river inspires moods in the people who visit or live near it. It changes with the seasons, with the time of day and even location. It can be rough or gentle, cold or warm. It can be welcoming at times or off putting. It is the rivers that provided the means to first settle the land, transport goods and the river shores reflect that in the many river towns we see. The history of the country is much tied into the history of the rivers.
In this presentation I try to capture on mood of the Wisconsin River, of late summer and fall. This particular year we did not have as much color in the tree leaves as normal. Many trees went quickly from green to yellowish. I think after a hot summer we have a chilly fall but each season brings it’s own moods. The pictures are in a limited area near the bridges across from downtown Wisconsin Rapids. I hope you feel the mood that I do in this snippet of the Wisconsin River in late fall.
Copyright 2011 Don Hoglund
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
© 2011 Don A. Hoglund