Waters Subside

It felt as though it would never end but mercifully the biblical deluge afflicting this part of Spain first of all abated then finally ceased overnight. It was heartening to be able to see across the valley when we raised the persianas [window blinds] this morning. The sky still didn’t look very settled but it was a start.

Francine managed to grab a couple of phone camera shots of the state of the water on her morning shopping trip. Eventually the skies cleared a tad and the sun put in a welcome appearance, enough for me to feel like leaving my cold-induced prison to join her for some fresh air and a saunter beside the river to inspect the state of affairs.

Jalon-River-1The river looked about a metre or so lower than it had been in full spate.The video that I posted would have been shot roughly from the position of the yellow car on the left of this picture. The water was getting close to the top of the parapet wall. In New Testament times, the Jalón river is normally a sparsely scattered collection of ever dwindling pools with intervening dry, rocky river bed, so this still qualifies as a raging torrent. It clearly is an improvement on yesterday, though.

Jalon-River-2The flow of the water was still fast and powerful, making for some impressive sights along parts of the local reach. Here, for example, is a section that might have landscape photographers pausing reaching for their Lee Big Stoppers. [Francine’s was back at Casa Libélule.] A combination of vegetation clearance and flood changes the landscape sufficiently to make difficult precise location identification but I think this waterfall is where I spotted first spotted Orange-veined Dropwings (Trithemis kirbyi) basking on sunny poolside rocks; rocks that are now submerged. The flow demonstrated admirably how those pools are carved over time by the water’s flow, even though these sorts of flows are separated by several years, for the most part. It will be interesting to see what sort of effect this type of cleansing flood might have had on the dragonfly population. I have seen them here in late December and even early January but I imagine that will have to wait for next season, now.

A little further upstream, we found a bend or two where the river had clearly burst its banks. Here, some soil had been washed away from beneath small sections of tarmac road and concrete reinforcement, causing some sections of concrete and tarmac to fracture and collapse. Nothing too serious, though, everything still looked generally sound and passable.

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Posted in 2016 Xmas
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