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A crystal-clear river with broad stretches of gravel and some hibernating trees on either bank and a blocky glass building in the background.

Low water in the river Sill at the beginning of March 2015. Photo by Sean Manning.

Living in Innsbruck, its hard to ignore the changes in the local waterways over the course of the year. The local rivers are fed by runoff, and these days large areas of the Alps are bare by May. I took these photos on the tenth of March, in a week where snow fell for several days but melted as it hit the ground of the valley.

Below the bridge which gave Innsbruck its name, the river Sill (flowing from the Brenner Pass in the south) flows into the Inn (running from west to east towards the Danube). Innsbruck is built in the plain between the Alps to the north and a plateau to the south, so as it runs through town the Sill is a placid stream.

Some bushes and a deciduous tree, on the rubble bank of a half-empty and placid riverbed

Bare trees on the bank of the Sill in Innsbruck. Photo by Sean Manning, March 2015.

The Tirolers have methodically banked and canalized their rivers, and a few watermills are still in action even if they are less important than when they gave the name to suburbs like Mühlau (mill pasture). In a month or two the water will be much higher as the winter snows melt and pour down from the high Alps. But for the moment, all is calm, and the dormant trees allow a clear view of the riverbanks.