First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.
Dan – Phew again. From the Northeast for yesterday’s US landing (ME) to today’s Southeast US landing . . . GA; 31/35; 4/10; 8; 154.3.
Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Fargo. Note the empty area on the map to the east. That’s the Okefenokee Swamp.
The Okefenokee (and my landing spot) are in the Suwanee R watershed (4th hit); on to the G of M (240th hit not counting the MM).
Here’s a nice shot of a train crossing the Suwanee River just south of Fargo:
Here’s a broader view, featuring Fargo:
Here’s an intermediate view from StreetAtlas, centered on the Okefenoke. Notice the dearth of features in the swamp (which is basically the area between Routes 1, 84, 441, 2 & 23) . . .
What I find of particular interest is GA State Route 177!! Note how it dead-ends after going northeast through Fargo. Of course, that’s where it just can’t go any further into the OS (that’s Okefenokee Swamp, not the usual Over-Subscribed!). And then, amazingly, it picks up again on the other side of the OS!! From what I’ve learned, there has never been a road that crossed the OS. I think that the person who decided the route numbers had a sense of humor!
I can’t find much about Fargo, except that’s the southern gateway to the OS. So, I’ll focus on the OS itself:
From the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Okefenokee website:
A Very Special Place
The Okefenokee is a vast bog inside a huge, saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor. It covers an area of approximately 438,000 acres, or 684 square miles. The swamp now lies 103 to 128 feet above sea level. Native Americans named the area “Okefenokee” meaning “Land of the Trembling Earth”. Peat deposits, up to 15 feet thick, cover much of the swamp floor. These deposits are so unstable in spots that trees and surrounding bushes tremble by stomping the surface.
The slow-moving waters of the Okefenokee are tea-colored due to the tannic acid released from decaying vegetation. The principal outlet of the swamp, the Suwannee River, originates in the heart of the Okefenokee and drains southwest into the Gulf of Mexico.
The swamp contains numerous islands and lakes, along with vast areas of non-forested habitat. “Prairies” cover about 60,000 acres of the swamp. Once forested, these expanses of marsh were created during periods of severe drought when fires burned out vegetation and the top layers of peat. The prairies harbor a variety of wading birds: herons, egrets, ibises, cranes, and bitterns.
Native Americans inhabited Okefenokee Swamp as early as 2500 B.C. The last tribe to seek sanctuary in the swamp were the Seminoles. During the Second Seminole War (1838-1842), the Seminoles were driven from the Okefenokee.
The Suwanee Canal Company purchased 238,120 acres of the Okefenokee Swamp from the State of Georgia in 1891 to drain the swamp for rice, sugar cane, and cotton plantations. Captain Henry Jackson and his crews spent three years digging the Suwannee Canal 11.5 miles into the swamp. However, the plan to drain the swamp for agricultural use failed.
Logging operations, focusing on the cypress, began in 1909 after a railroad was constructed on the northwest area of the swamp. More than 431 million board feet of timber were removed from the Okefenokee by 1927, when logging operations ceased.
Protected for Wildlife and You
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1936 in order to preserve the 438,000 acre Okefenokee Swamp. The swamp remains one of the oldest and most well preserved freshwater areas in America.
Of course, I must show some pictures:
And how about this 69-cent stamp??
Anne Elredge Harris is an artist who was born in 1918. She remembered a foggy scene in 1929, when she was eleven and living in Fargo. Starting in 1995, she found it easier to abandon the usual media (watercolors, oil) and learned how to do computer art. She then used her new-found computer art skills to “paint” this piece (artist’s caption below):
The fog was low-lying and thick. Coming home from school we had a wonderful time walking half-blind with heads in fog, and the smaller children stooping down in the clear area at the ground level to guide us. It was hard to realize that reality was not changed, just masked. It was scary yet so exciting to feel our way along; trying to remember that nothing was changed except our vision of it. The fog was moist, thereby making it even more sensuous.
From Anne’s “My Vitae:”
Born in Pensacola, Florida in 1918, my childhood was spent in Washington, DC and Fargo, Georgia before moving to New Orleans in my teens. At the University of Alabama I met my brilliant engineer husband; we were married in my sophomore year when I was eighteen, and set of on an adventuresome life in several southern states while he designed bridges, then to Connecticut, Venezuela, Maryland, and finally to New Orleans, where for 25 years he was on the Tulane faculty. We were always interested in the forefront of science and technology, as well as philosophy, art, and creativity, which I have found again on the Internet.
Widowed in 1982, I moved to a retirement home in Delaware to be near NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington. Now a recluse in failing health, I find my “art studio in a box” the perfect answer for energy-sparing creativity.
After sixty years of working in traditional art mediums, I discovered digital art in mid 1995. With Fauve-Matisse software, using the mouse as a brush, I am experimenting daily and the possibilities blow my mind.
Cool lady. Here’s another piece of computer art:
I’ll close with a sunrise over the OS:
That’ll do it.
© 2009 A Landing A Day