Marko Posavec Photography

What Was Once a River Bed

Drava is a dynamic river, as most of them are. It’s constantly reshaping the landscape it flows through – bending, meandering, depositing, taking down, carrying away… About a kilometer upriver of Botovo bridge (here), there is a place where Drava got particularly creative. It’s a labyrinth of shoals, small islands, gravelbars and leftover ponds. When the water is at or above the average level, these places are out of reach. When the water is low, however, they’re open to anyone.

The waters of Drava are low right now, which is common in winter before the Alpine snow starts to melt. It’s a good opportunity to explore a landscape that was submerged until recently and walk on the ground that used to be the bottom of the river. The major flooding of Drava six months ago reshaped the whole area as well.

This is what the place looks like from what’s usually the farthest point one can reach without wading into the water.

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When the water is high, all of this is under water except for those trees on the right. When the water level is average, the river flows over the dark patches.

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It’s quite obvious that this is not what you’d call a regular ground.

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Only some shallow streams remain. If the river level drops some more, they’ll dry up too.

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I noticed an interesting phenomenon in one of those streams. Fishermen told me that this is a place where water emerges from the ground. It’s also interesting to note how these streams don’t have a problem running under the shoals: they disappear on one end and reappear on the other. The water has no problem flowing through the underground gravel.

There used to be waves here.

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A former river bed. Now it’s more like a desert.

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Every feature here has been shaped by the river in one way or another.

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Then we reached a huge gravel bar where A. lay down and greeted the Sun.

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Sand and gravel layers of the bank.

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Gravel bar in the late winter / early spring sun.

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Kick back and relax.

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Glittering gravel.

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There are larger forms of sediment, too.

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The sands of the Drava.

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Willow catkins are sprouting up and that can only mean one thing.

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Spring is just around the corner. Five days of winter left.

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I leave you with snowdrops.

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