Spring 2018

Spring 2018
Spring Green

Monday, May 8, 2017

down by the Mactaquac Dam and the St. John River

This is along the St. John River on the Mactaquac Head Pond just above the Mactaquac Dam at Keswick Ridge.

Well, here it is into May already!  Time is flying by and I didn't even look at my blog or anyone else's for a whole week for some reason, so I have some catching up to do!

The weather has not been very nice and there hasn't been much to take photos of unless it's rain.

It is definitely greening up and the trees are budding, the tulips are about to open and the daffodils are still blooming for a few more days.  

We had about 90mm of rain all day Saturday that has caused some flooding of properties along the rivers but not the major flooding that would have been expected.  There are many wet basements I'm sure and some flooded roads.  Parts of BC, Ontario and Quebec have had some much more serious flooding though and my heart goes out to those affected as their homes are full of water and so much property is destroyed.  We are on a high ridge so are safe.  Our yard is like a sopping wet sponge in spots as the ground is so saturated.  Hopefully this will give lots of moisture to the woods so there won't be any forest fires.

Sunday afternoon was glorious with blue skies, puffy white clouds, sunshine and warm temperatures.  Late afternoon we went for a little drive to the river and the dam so I could take some photos.  The top opening photo is down by the river.  I've written many blog posts about the river, dam and head pond.

There was a stiff southwest wind so there were waves and whitecaps on the water and it was all muddy from sediment and the fast flow of the water.  In the distance at the centre of the photo is where the St. John River is.  The body of water right here is called the Mactaquac Arm.  When the Mactaquac Dam was built across the St. John River over 40 years ago the flood waters backed up the river and the Mactaquac Stream (now the Arm) and it is very deep and wide.  

In the cove of the very first photo is this beaver lodge which has been there for a long time.  Normally the water is much higher and only the top half of the pile of wood is showing.  It is unusual to see a shoreline along the river unless the water is being lowered during spring runoff or if there has been a heavy rain all along the St. John River and they have to open the dam gates.

Looking up the Mactaquac Arm toward Crabbe Mountain.  Yes, that is a 'mountain'.  😁  And it is a ski hill too.

The land on the right side of this photo is all Mactaquac Provincial Park which has many hiking trails, two boat marinas, a golf course, campgrounds, a public beach and picnic areas.  Treego - a zip line outfit - is also located in the park.  
It is a very busy spot from May through September and many boaters take advantage of the river where there are bass fishing tournaments twice in the summer.  There are also houseboat rentals at the marina.

Tons of old trees and wood etc. come down river every year with the high water.  It is scooped out with a large excavator and put into dump trucks then piled up on NB Power property near the dam.  You can see a log or two in this photo and I took a photo of the pile as well.

Next we drove across the dam from the other side (Keswick Ridge) to the Kingsclear side in this photo to take pics of the water coming through.  The gates had been closed more than they have been so less was being expelled but it is amazing to see the force of the water as it comes down the spillways and crashes at the base into a white roiling foam.  It then flows down the St. John River to the Bay of Fundy - about 105 km or 65 miles away.  It's along the area below Fredericton that the water has breached the highway in spots and flooded some basements, yards and farms and this happens almost every year.  The most recent bad flood was 2008 when it flooded parts of downtown Fredericton.  It's quite a science to adjust the water flow at the dam with the amount of influx along the river above it from snow melt and rain.  The St. John River starts in Northern Maine and flows through the province of New Brunswick.  

A closer shot of the action.

We left there and I took this photo as we crossed back over the dam.  We're heading to that spit of green grass jutting out in the river below the generating part of the dam.

Here are the trucks I mentioned that haul the logs and debris away that is collected from next to the dam.

And this is some of the pile of logs and debris that has been collected the past few years.  Some of it is hauled off to landfill sites I think.

The road down to the generating station below the dam has some great views of the St. John River, Kingsclear and Islandview.

This is taken from the parking lot on the green spit of land I mentioned you could see from the dam and looking back at the dam.  You can't see the spillways as they are around a bit of a corner on the right.

There are two sets of spillways and you can see the roiling foam from them here.  One set is behind that jut-out and one it to the immediate right where the spray is.  Note the vehicles driving across the dam.

That's it for our tour of the St. John River at the Mactaquac Dam.  

Maple tree blossoms.

Back at home at suppertime, almost 6:00, and the sun is still high and the grass is so green.  I love this time of year but just wish it would warm up about 5-10 degrees more as we're barely into the teens yet most days.   I'm still not barefoot in sandals!  haha.  

I hope you had a good weekend and wish you a great week ahead.  And a very happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Take care.



  1. Dams are such interesting things, I think. The engineering that goes into them is really intricate, and they need the constant management that you've expressed so well. I'm glad spring is making an appearance in your area, and hope the temperatures warm up soon. It's cold here, too, and I wish for more sunny days, but we take what we can get.
    Have a good week, Pam.

  2. Thanks for the tour of the dam...interesting stuff! It just amazes me the power that water has and what all is necessary to keep it under control. I am sure you are more than ready for warmer temps. We have been having more rain than usual as well and everything is SO green! And speaking of rain, more is on the way for most of this week. Enjoy your week, Pam!

  3. Wonderful shots of the area!

    Yes, the flooding along the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Valleys are bad right now.

  4. That was a pleasant outing. Thanks for taking me along.

  5. love all the pretty clouds. so lovely. we went to a campground recently and with all the rain around here they were having lots of flooding ...it is amazing what flooding and those dams can take care of control. so interesting. i can right there with you on the time flying by. a bday will be coming up for me soon ... it is just wild how you get to be a certain age and time just flies ...but as a kid it would never go fast enough. how does that happen? ( ;

  6. One of those photos is the picture I have in my head as I read an Inspector Gamache mystery. I do hope all the rain will keep forest fires away also. That is such a pretty, scenic area. River and trees. Just wish you could more sunshine and keep it. We had a sunny day today, but it looks like rain tonight. I'm a little weary of dreary.

  7. Precious little sun around here, too. I see that tomorrow may be partly sunny, which will be a great blessing. The spring peepers sure seem happy anyway. I have never seen the dam that I remember. I must bookmark this post for the vacationing family's information.

  8. Must be interesting to have such a lake nearby. Glad we're finally getting sun!

  9. Between snow melt and heavy rains flooding is everywhere this spring! We had terrible thunderstorms the past two late afternoons. We were fortunate today as large hail fell on Denver and other areas, but not where we were. car windows broken all over. The beaver dam in your photos is so large but the man made dam are marvels.

  10. Happy Mother's Day Pamela . . .
    I enjoyed your photos although I felt
    Brrrrrr . . .
    It has been sunny here the past few days with so much . . .
    Brrrrrr . . .
    Not complaining really, I like the sunshine and everything coming to life.
    Frost the past two nights, mornings . . .
    Things will begin changing fast in no time at all!
    Happy Days my friend . . .

  11. Thank you for the tour, Pam. Imagine those clever souls who first dreamed of harnessing water power! The blue sky certainly looks wonderful;there have been plenty of grey days here this spring. You and I are very fortunate not to have been affected by the terrible floods so many have endured.

    Have a lovely week.

  12. Pam, dams fascinate and frighten me all at once. I think I'm always waiting for a failure to happen (even though that is silly!) I always breathe easier when we're on the high side, though. Amazing all the debris that comes floating down, water is so very powerful.

  13. Lovely sights of spring at such a pretty place. Interesting dam shots. Sorry you have been dealing with such rain.

  14. You take great pictures Pam...
    Love your backyard view...
    Enjoy your evening..
    Linda :o)

  15. What a great place to visit, lots of photo opportunities. I've cut way back on my blog, been tryin Instagram, as you know. I really enjoy it, just one photo and some words not like writing a blog post. The sun is finally out today, just need some warmth now.

  16. Happy Mother's Day to you ~ Lovely photography of a beautiful place ~ nature is such a gift ~ Weather has been much like yours ~

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

  17. Lovely place! Just love your photo´s...

  18. Awesome shots! I wonder if the wood in the debris pile would make good firewood when it dried out.
    Happy Mother's Day!

  19. We have the same weather and not very warm here either. I loved the photos and the tour. I also have started to go to instagram and really like it. I liked the pictures of the big dam.

  20. Beautiful and so interesting, Pam.. Happy Mother's Day my friend. xoxo

  21. I enjoyed visiting the dam with you, Pam, such an interesting post. You can almost feel the healing powers of water.

  22. Hi Pam,

    I really enjoyed this post as I would never have researched this on my own. The power of water always impresses me, and controlling it, even more!

    Hearing of all the flooding, especially in Quebec, saddens me. Just read yesterday that the citizens of Montreal had to do a lot of clearing on their own.

    Hope you get some sunshine, soon. My family in Toronto has had enough of the dark, rainy days. We also have two days of rain in the forecast this week, which is rare, but in our case, welcoming!

    Found you on Instagram and have put in a request to follow you back!

    Have a lovely Tuesday,

  23. Hope never to experience such a thing in Amsterdam where our houseboat is located (https://www.bookahouseboat.com/rentals/amsterdam for those who are interested), but it's awesome to see the sheer power of water. We visited your St John River years ago for large striped bass and had great catches - the water was not as a mayhem that it is now. Well, you that's the river life - every day is different. Keep up the good work and tight lines from Amsterdam!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...