How Rivers Are Made
H AVE you ever seen a brook or creek? A river? Is there a brook or river near here? Who can tell where it begins? where the water comes from that fills it? where it goes? Let us try to understand this.
As vapor rises into high, cool air, or is carried with the air in winds up the sides of mountains, it turns into water again, and comes falling down as rain.
Now think where the rain that falls on mountains must go. Some of the water runs off on the surface, down the mountain slope. Some sinks into the ground, and runs along in little streams below the surface. It will appear again, bubbling out of the mountain side as a spring. The spring is the beginning of a river.
Did you ever see a spring? Where was it? Was it shaded by trees? Where did the water come from? Did you drink from it? Was the water pure and cold? Where did the water go after leaving the spring?
From the spring flows a tiny, thread-like stream, so small that we can easily step across it. This little stream is called a rill.
Other rills meet this, and form a larger stream, which is called a brook or creek.
As the brook flows on, it is joined by other streams, until, little by little, it becomes a wide and deep river on which large boats may float. At last, it finds its way into the ocean.
Where a river begins is its source. The place where it flows into another body of water is called its mouth. The land over which it flows is its bed.
A river has two banks. As we go toward its mouth, the right bank is on our right hand, and the left bank is on our left.
Do you live near a river? Where does the water come from? In what direction does it flow? Why does it flow in such direction? Does it wind about much? Does it flow into the ocean, or into another river?
Is the water fresh or salt? What grow on its banks? Near which bank do you live?
Make a picture of a spring, and a brook flowing from it. Draw the tall grass and plants that grow near it.
Write the names of all the rivers you have seen.
Write the following:
Water flowing out of the ground is called a spring.
From springs flow small streams called rills, brooks, or creeks.
A large stream of water flowing through the land is called a river.
A small stream of water flowing into a larger one is called a tributary.
The source of a river is where it begins. The place where it empties into another body of water is its mouth.
Every river has two banks—a right-hand bank and a left-hand bank.