It’s a jungle – the humidity is visible. I stop at a bend in the river, brown and swollen with all the summer rain. The Cuyahoga has jumped its banks a few times this summer now, the ground is saturated. Akron flooded July 10th and after a week of sweltering sun and humidity, the cool down brought more rain and the Cuyahoga ran over the streets. On the far bank, a heron grunts.
The river pushes back and forth against a log jam, a backeddy formed up around a flooded willow tree, water three feet up its trunk. Huge sycamores and walnut trees loom. Parasitic grape vines strangle the smaller understory trees. Some trees aren’t holding up to the wet ground, I notice a couple Northern Catalpa’s knocked over, big root wads standing up in the dirt. Non-native from the Mississippi Valley. Every sycamore seems to have dumped its bark. As I ride under the I-271 Bridge, I spotted my first green heron of the year as well as a duck I couldn’t identify. Amazing to find that kind of species diversity under eight lanes of highway connecting Akron to Cleveland.