W. Roberts Richmond | Brandywine River, Delaware

For 17 years we lived in an apartment on the bank of the Brandywine River in downtown Wilmington. From our balcony it was about a 30′ drop to the water. Sometimes it was more, sometimes less, because the tide came in and out twice a day.

Regardless of the tides, when you live on river the view is constantly changing: different water, floating objects and, most interesting of all, ice. There were a few winters when thick ice was prevalent, but never remained the same for very long. The tides would break up the smooth ice into huge slabs layering in disarray on top of one another and emitting anguished groans as they slid up and down.

One evening while walking about one block downstream from where we lived, I witnessed a most remarkable and unexpected urban scene. Coming under a fence from an overgrown area which I believe concealed an abandoned quarry pit was a family of beavers. Single file young ones led by an adult ambled across a roadway and along the river bank before taking a plunge and disappearing. When I arrived back home I stood on my balcony and saw the beaver family emerge from the river several hundred yards downstream from where I had last seen them. I’m never tired of living on the Brandywine River and its ever changing spectacles.

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