First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a twice a week 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 in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.
Landing number 2086; A Landing A Day blog post number 514.
Dan – Still mired in a slump (now 2/12), thanks to this OS landing in . . . ND; 60/48; 2/10; 150.6. Here’s my regional landing map:
My local landing map shows that I landed very close to the incredibly small town of Hampden:
I zoomed back quite a bit, and found that I’m in the midst of . . .(here comes that phrase again) . . .a veritable plethora of small towns:
Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, showing that I landed in the expected agricultural setting:
Just for the heck of it, here’s a closer look at my landing and the nearby farmstead:
Speaking of just for the heck of it, here’s a close-in view of Hampden (population: not-very-many; some-number-less-than-fifty):
Obviously, we’ll have some more about Hampden in a bit. But first, my watershed analysis. Let me start with this “streams-only” landing map:
You can see why I put “streams” in quotes. There are no streams, just a veritable plethora of little lakes. Does this whole scene look familiar? It should! Just ten landings ago, I landed in the northeast corn of South Dakota (my Grenville post). In that post, I showed a similar map, and discussed (at some length) the fact that I had landed in the “Prairie Pothole Region.”
Here’s the regional map of the region that I presented in my Grenville post. Obviously, I’ve landed there again!
For any of you who didn’t read my Grenville post, here’s what I said about the Prairie Pothole Region:
The PPR (I feel quite scholarly saying “PPR”) is a glacially-derived terrain that has resulted in a landscape dominated by innumerable depressions, ranging in size from a fraction of an acre to many hundreds of acres. These depressions were formed by basically two mechanisms:
1. The advancing then retreating glaciers left an inherently irregular surface behind, often resulting in an undulating topography with multiple closed drainage areas (i.e., potholes).
2. In conjunction with the above, chunks of ice were often left behind by retreating glaciers. These chunks of ice were then covered by soils and sediments deposited by the glaciers. When the chunks melted, a particular type of pothole resulted, known as a kettle. If the kettle is large enough to support a lake, the lake is known as a kettle lake.
This is a very young landscape, as the glaciers retreated a measly 10,000 years ago. It just so happens that it’s also a semi-arid region, with precipitation averaging just 20” per year (more or less) – much less than the 45” for me here in New Jersey. The result is that typical drainage patterns of small streams leading to small rivers leading to larger rivers just doesn’t exist. There are very few streams; rainfall runoff and snowmelt simply flow into the nearest pothole. If the pothole is dry, some of the water soaks in to the ground and some of the water evaporates.
Larger kettle lakes may have very small streams flowing in, but typically don’t have a stream flowing out.
Looking back up at my zoomed out landing map, you can see that there are some larger lakes some distance south of my landing. Could they be downhill from my landing?
Using the GE elevation tool, I determined that with a huge flooding rain fall / snow melt event (filling up all of the potholes on the way), drainage from my landing site would in fact generally head southwest, eventually ending up in the Devil’s Lake Basin (which includes, of all things, Devil’s Lake). Here’s another streams-only map:
Here’s what Wiki has to say about Devil’s Lake (the lake, not the town):
Devils Lake is an endorheic, or closed, lake, and is part of the Devils Lake Basin. Above an elevation of 1,458 ft the lake flows [or one could say “would flow”] naturally into the Sheyenne River, though the lake has not reached this level in approximately 1000 years.
[I wonder what happened 1000 years ago? The thousand-year flood, I reckon.]
An increase in precipitation between 1993 and 1999 caused the lake to double in size, forcing the displacement of over 300 homes and flooding 70,000 acres of farmland.
Here’s a 1986 aerial photo (from Wiki), showing the Lake at its normal (smaller) size:
Here’s Wiki’s 2009 photo showing a much larger lake:
In response to the flooding (and dissatisfaction with a federal Corp of Engineers proposal), the state constructed an outlet to divert water from Devils Lake into the Sheyenne River. The outlet began operation in 2006, but did not operate at the maximum permitted rate until 2009.
I guess I could say that I landed in the Sheyenne River watershed, since water now flows from the Lake into the Sheyenne. But I always lean towards natural, not manmade drainage-ways, so I’ve decided to put this landing into my “internal” category. I mean, really. Based on the natural drainage patterns, the water hasn’t made it to the Sheyenne in 1000 years . . .
Moving on to Hampden. I quickly seized upon a Hampden blog (another WordPress blog). Here’s something I found there:
Meet another Hampden!
February 28, 2010 by Julie
Hampden, North Dakota got a recent mention on a website from…Hampden, New Zealand! Head on over and read it.
So, of course I did click on the link they provided, and here’s what I found, posted on the website Hamraki Rag (a website featuring the general Hampden NZ area):
How many Hampdens are there in this world?
The other day we looked up Hampden on Google. There are, of course, a few pages about our Hampden, but there are many other Hampdens.
Hampdens of various sizes can be found in the US, Canada and South Australia. We noticed a village called Mount Hampden, just on the outskirts of Harare in Zimbabwe as well. And of course there is the original one in the UK, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire.
Like ours, most of these Hampdens and some ink-saving cousins without the ‘p’, are named after John Hampden, an Englishman who lived in the 17th century. He is the chap who is regarded as one of the designers of English style parliamentary democracy which we inherited in New Zealand and many other democratic countries where there are Hampdens. (Not too sure about Zimbabwe, but that is another story.)
We thought it was strange that we don’t know much about these other Hampdens, even though we share the name. However, because we are all named after the same historic figure known as “the Patriot” perhaps there are some characteristics shared among Hampdenites? How nice if we could get in touch with people living in other Hampdens to find out how they live, eat, work and feel?
So we sent out emails to Hampdenites all over the world asking if they could contribute to the Rag and tell us what their Hampdens are like. The response so far has been overwhelming. Many want to hear about our Hampden as well.
The first reply was from North Dakota, USA. Hampden, North Dakota is in Ramsey County (pop. 11,234 in 2006, with Devils Lake as its major city), right near the border with Canada. They are on the latitude of 48 N, so we are almost equidistant to our respective poles. Our Hampden is often talked about as having been one of the smallest boroughs in the country. This one in North Dakota occupies a total land area of 0.4km2 (with a population of 60 in 2000).
ALAD note: The population is down to 48 per the 2010 census.
Here’s the reply to Hampden NZ from Judy Neidlinger from Hampden ND:
Hampden, North Dakota is a farming community in the northern part of the state. It is actually quite close to Canada. It was started in 1904 and like most towns in our state, it came into existence because of its location near the railroad. As the railroad arrived, people started building and creating a community.
In its early years it included every kind of business to meet the needs of the people. It thrived and met the needs of those living in town and the farmers surrounding it. The town’s size has decreased through the years; farms are bigger and fewer and hence the population is smaller.
In 1980 the school closed and children from the community were bused to the three surrounding schools. In the late 1970s a shopping mall was built to replace deteriorating buildings. That mall has been a key to the life of the community. It has included a cafe, grocery store and Senior Citizens center for all the years since it was built as well as having been used for sometime as a hardware store, beauty shop and quilt shop.
The railroad which brought the people here is no longer here. Supplies and produce come and go to this community via truck. Regardless of the smallness of its size, the people here care about its appearance and keep it neat and attractive. In 2004, former residents and area people came back to celebrate its existence for 100 years.
We invite you to come for a visit and you can learn about us through our website. (Their website address is http://hampden.wordpress.com/.)
I now see that I’ll need two pieces of research: John Hampden, and Hampden NZ.
On second thought, I think we learned enough about John in the New Zealand write-up:
“John Hampden was an Englishman who lived in the 17th century. He is the chap who is regarded as one of the designers of English style parliamentary democracy which we inherited in New Zealand and many other democratic countries.”
Moving on to Hampden NZ. No offense, Hampden, but I’m going to use your town (actually your beach) as a photo op. But first a very broad GE overview for a basic geography lesson:
And now for a general Hampden vicinity GE shot:
You have to love the contrast in the town names:
Moeraki Hampden Waianakararua Herbert Maheno
IQ test: Can you pick out the Brit names vs. the Maori names?
What caught my eye are objects on the beach between Hampden and Moeraki. They are known as Moeraki Boulders. Here’s an ALAD exclusive, presenting a Panaramio panorama by Arroz Marisco:
Here are some cool Panaramio shots of the boulders. First, by Daniel Meyer:
By Vladimir Minakov (at low tide):
By Funtor (at high tide):
These circular “boulders” are more property called “concretions.” And get this. Since I never forget an ALAD post, I knew that I had featured concretions quite a while back. I did a search, and the answer? From August, 2009: Selfridge, NORTH DAKOTA! That’s right, I’ve gone full circle! If you want to read about Selfridge and its nearby Cannonball River Concretions (and want to learn what causes concretions), type “Selfridge” in the search box . . .
But even more cool than reading one of my old posts is checking out a link that I provided in my Selfridge post. This is an absolutely wonderful website with dozens of pictures of concretions from the world over (including three or four shots of Moeraki Boulders). Click HERE to see it.
Before I close with some Panoramio shots from the greater Hampden / Devil’s Lake area, I found this little Wiki blurb about Bisbee (a town about 35 miles west of my landing).
Bisbee was featured in the September 10, 2001 edition of Newsweek, discussing the slow, painful decline of the town since (at that time) even the mayor, Bob Weltin, was preparing to forsake what was left of the town and seek a better life elsewhere. Things Bisbee had lost over the years, according to the Newsweek article, included movies at Pettsinger’s Theater, root-beer floats at Brannon’s Drug and Soda Fountain, and groceries at Dick’s Red Owl. At the time of the article, there wasn’t a doctor, lawyer, plumber or priest in Bisbee anymore. Population had dropped more than 30 percent in a decade. At the time of the article, there were only 227 “hearty souls” hanging on for dear life in Bisbee.
Get this. The population was 126 as of the 2010 census (and probably 93 today).
So, here are some Devil’s Lake Panoramio shots. First, this by MrBur1:
And then this very cool shot, by JCCND:
Now, moving up just north of Hampden, here’s a shot of an old schoolhouse by Scott Knox:
I’ll close with two shots by Cory Enger. First this, of a Canola field:
And finally, this:
That’ll do it.
© 2013 A Landing A Day