poetry and prose about place

fords across the river

with 6 comments

During a week of vacation last month in south-eastern Ontario, I was able to get to know some of its rivers.

The water is low this time of year and the rivers run still and quiet. Pond lilies and duckweed cover the surface, joined by early falling leaves. The country roads cross and re-cross the rivers, giving a view of each river at several points along the way.

I was also reminded of another means of crossing a shallow river or stream – the ford.  This is a place where the water is shallow enough to cross on foot or by vehicle, without a bridge.  Sometimes the ford depends on the natural stones or solid bottom for its footing; sometimes the bottom is built up by adding stone. 

The fords on the South Branch of the Raisin River in South Glengarry County were built to last, of stone.  They make a charming pause in the run of the river, allowing passage of the water and a safe way to cross.

A local person familiar with the river told me this:  in spring, when the river runs deep enough to allow canoes to paddle, the fords can still be seen, white stones shining up through the water.


crossing the South Branch Raisin River, South Glengarry County


weedy South Branch Raisin River water-dry

stream-bed wizened wild grapes purple-weighted

sun-dried field rock

fords and fences

rain and rising

leaf-spun river

surface winds reflected

          elm, nymphaea

          ash, nuphar


© Jane Tims   2011

Written by jane tims

October 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

6 Responses

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  1. I have to agree with both Heather and “Watching Seasons”. As always, excellent way to end up your poem.



    October 10, 2011 at 9:27 am

  2. I like how you bring a strong sense of place to your posts, Jane.


    Watching Seasons

    October 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    • Hi. Thanks! When I started the Blog, ‘poetry and prose about place’, I wondered if I would find enough material, but it turns out to be a recurring theme, everywhere! Jane


      jane tims

      October 9, 2011 at 7:21 am

  3. very nice…I love your drawing and you captured the river in your poem



    October 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

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