Monday, May 29, 2023

Two Snapshots of the Russian River at Frog Woman Rock: One in Drought and One After a Deluge

The same vantage point of the Russian River at the base of Frog Woman Rock. One image was taken during times of drought and the other during flooding. [Pictures by Matt LaFever]

In the aftermath of the atmospheric river that swelled the rivers of Mendocino County, many residents are crossing their fingers that these rains could beat back the pernicious drought conditions that have dogged MendoLife for several years.

To provide a visual reference demonstrating the influx of water these recent stores have brought, we present two photographs taken at the same exact location during drastically different precipitation patterns.

Both photographs were taken from the side of Highway 101, looking down on the Russian River as it runs below the prominent landmark Frog Woman Rock.

The Russian River below Frog Woman Rock on 2/11/2022

This photograph was taken on February 11, 2022, and shows a meandering Russian River. A gravel bar is exposed and the blue-green waters indicate a placid flow letting silt settle on the river bottom.

The Russian River below Frog Woman Rock on 12/31/2022

This photograph was taken yesterday, December 31, 2022, from the same location. The photograph’s frame is not exactly the same as the photograph from February, but the large rocks along the banks can clearly be seen in both pictures.

In the wake of the atmospheric river, the water was mud-brown, frothing, and churning. The only rocks that are visible are the gigantic boulders along the banks eroded by floodwaters over centuries. Rocks the size of cars clearly visible in February were nowhere to be seen in yesterday’s turbid waters.

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With more rain to come, the Russian River and other local waterways will continue to swell and possibly foretell an upcoming year of plenty instead of scarcity.

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  1. That is Squaw Rock if I have ever seen it in my 54years of living here.
    Frog woman where the hell..who told you that? Have you been hitting the hooch again?

  2. You have miss identified the location. (Regarding Squaw Rock, this generation of idiots has no right to change historic names. They are destroying their own identity along with their history.) By the way, I have seen the water that high many times. The steelhead run will love it.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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