poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘ford

a ford in the river 5-3

with 10 comments


houses in Le Gué d'Alleré

houses in Le Gué d’Alleré (image from Street View)


Day 5-3 1 Logbook


Day 5-3 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Maps)


April 18’s virtual bike ride took me through the town of Le Gué d’Alleré.  A ‘gué’ is a place on a river where the water is shallow enough to allow easy passage, in other words, a ford.

The river in Le Gué d’Alleré was so shallow, it had no water at all.  I know this river sometimes holds water since there is an image embedded in Street View showing the river full of water!


river in Le Gué d'Alleré

river in Le Gué d’Alleré (image from Street View)


When I was young, we often visited my grandfather’s farm in Nova Scotia.  One of the places I remember well was the ford across the stream at the end of his road.  The water was shallow at this spot and people from the community would bring their cars to the ford to wash them.  It would not have been good for the environment.  Soap suds and leaking oil and gasoline would pollute the downstream water, probably harming the aquatic life, including the fish people liked to catch.





at the intersection

of the lane and the County Road,

a ford crossed the stream–

flat stones and riffles


in the shade of serviceberry and maple

we watched as distant cousins

washed their cars,

all suds and Daisies


then took clean cars

further down the road

(further down the stream),

for an hour of fishing




Best View: an image from my memory …


'washing the car at the ford'


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

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

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