First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-four days 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 2192; A Landing A Day blog post number 620.
Dan: After three “try agains” (the Pacific Ocean, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico) I landed in an eastern USer (hooray) . . . FL; 32/47; 4/10 (after fourteen 3/10s and 2/10s); 14; 150.9.
Here’s my regional landing map:
I’ll stop right here for second. As most of you know, I keep a landing spreadsheet, where I put all pertinent nuts and bolts information about the landing. The spreadsheet generates the random lat/longs, calculates the OSer/USer stats, and is where I keep track of the watersheds, and a myriad of other things (see “About Landing,” above).
Here’s an example of how I describe a particular landing location (going back a couple of landings to my Cabool MO landing):
“MO; S-Cen; 4 mi S of Cabool”
It is certainly not essential that I specify the portion of the state in which I landed – i.e., “S-Cen,” but it’s what I’ve been doing for 2,192 landings, so I won’t stop now.
The reason I’m mentioning this is that for my previous landing (Shattuck & Gage OK), I said “OK, NW (not panhandle), 3.5 mi NW of Shattuck” because I landed in the northwestern part of the main body of the state, but wasn’t in the panhandle (which is even further northwest). I don’t recall ever specifying “not panhandle” for previous landings.
Here’s today’s entry: “FL, NW (not panhandle), 4 mi N of Bronson.” Amazing, but true . . .
And then there’s a second amazing coincidence that also ties Gage OK in with Bronson FL (this is just a teaser; more about that in a bit).
Anyway, here’s my local landing map showing why Bronson is my titular town:
My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Little Waccasassa River (first hit ever!); on to the Waccasassa (also first hit ever!):
Now wait a second. As shown above, the Little Waccasassa River is all of 3.5 miles long. I am certain that this is my shortest river ever. I seriously considered not counting it as a river, but StreetAtlas called it thus and to remain consistent, I shall also deem it so.
Here’s a slightly zoomed out map, showing that the Waccasassa makes its way to the Gulf:
Geez. Even the Waccasassa’s length is nothing to brag about . . .
Anyway, here’s a Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of the Waccasassa (or is it the Little Waccasassa?), taken west of Bronson on Route 27A:
Time for my GE spaceflight on in to the Florida peninsula:
Here’s a static GE shot showing the field in which I landed:
So, looks like there’s a sinkhole (which are incredibly common throughout the Florida peninsula). Here’s a closer view:
And a very much closer view:
Sinkholes (as I’m sure almost all of my readers know) are limestone cave structures where the roof fell in. Did you notice all of the ponds and lakes on my local landing map? I suspect they’re all sinkhole-related.
So what about Bronson? Well, Wiki has absolutely nothing to say. But when I checked out Google Images for Bronson, I found something . . .
That something returns me to my teaser statement that there are two amazing coincidences about my last landing and this landing – the first being the “NW (not in the panhandle)” statement. As you, dear reader, undoubtedly remember from my Shattuck & Gage Oklahoma landing post, Gage has a highly unusual swimming hole, the “Gage Artesian Beach,” which was formed when an oil well driller hit a highly artesian mineral water vein while drilling, and a huge amount of water shot up the well, making a lake (and thereby ruining the oil well). The mineral water lake was then developed into a swimming hole.
So what does Bronson have (that I found when looking at Google Images)? They also have their own local swimming hole and it is also artesian – the Bronson Blue Springs. Here’s a GE shot of the Blue Springs:
Here’s what NaturalNorthFlorida.com has to say:
The local swimming hole, Blue Springs, is a great place about 3 miles from Bronson. This 30-acre recreation facility is built around the crystal-clear 2nd-magnitude artesian spring at the headwaters of the Waccasassa River and features swimming, a playground and picnic sites. Amenities include hiking and riding trails, observation decks, a boardwalk and fishing platforms. Admission is $2 per day per person and season passes are available.
And it’s for sale! LandSaleListings.com provides a little more info:
Blue Springs is a second magnitude spring producing approximately 40 million gallons of fresh clean spring water each day. There are 4 large springs and 2 smaller springs on the property.
Hmmm. Both sites refer to a “second magnitude spring.” The US Geological Survey recognizes 8 spring magnitudes, based on flow rate:
So 40 million gallons a day is 40/24 = 1.67 million gallons per hour = 1,670,000/60 = 28,000 gallons per minute = 28,000/60 = about 450 gallons per second. Phew. That’s a healthy flow to jump start the Waccasassa on its way to riverhood . . .
Here are some pictures of Blue Springs, from the real estate website:
Looks like a great spot. And the asking price for the 400-acre property? Just $10,000,000 (and they’ll probably take less).
So, I was cruising around GE looking at Panaramio shots when I stumbled on this, in Bronson (by Ken Bradgely):
This picture was labeled “Classic Cracker House.” My only knowledge of the term “cracker” is that it is a derogatory term applied to southern whites (mostly poor, I assume). But I did a little research. From Wiki (under “Florida Cracker Architecture”):
Florida cracker architecture is a style of woodframe home used fairly commonly in the 19th century, and still popular with some developers as a source of design themes. Florida cracker homes are characterized by metal roofs, raised floors, large porch areas (often wrapping around the entire home), and straight central hallways from the front to the back of the home (sometimes called “dog trot” or “shotgun” hallways).
Then I looked at the Wiki entry for “Florida Cracker.” Here are some excerpts:
Florida cracker refers to colonial-era English and American pioneer settlers and their descendants in what is now the U.S. state of Florida.
The term “cracker” was in use during the Elizabethan era to describe braggarts. The original root of this is the Middle English word crack, meaning “entertaining conversation” (one may be said to “crack” a joke). The use of the word is documented in William Shakespeare’s King John (1595): “What cracker is this … that deafens our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath?”
By the 1760s the English, both at home and in the American colonies, applied the term “cracker” to Scots-Irish and English American settlers of the remote southern back country, as noted in a letter to the Earl of Dartmouth: “I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by Crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascals on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia.
Among some Floridians, the term is often used as a proud or jocular self-description. Since the huge influx of new residents (mostly northerners) into Florida in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the term “Florida Cracker” is used informally by some Floridians to indicate that their families have lived in the state for many generations. It is considered a source of pride to be descended from “frontier people who did not just live but flourished in a time before air conditioning, mosquito repellent, and screens.”
Other Floridians (and white southerners in general) find the term highly offensive and insulting.
Well! I certainly learned something . . .
I’ll close with some GE Panoramio photos. I found four by Optical Delusions taken in the Devil’s Hammock Wildlife Management Area (which comprises the headwaters of the Waccasassa River):
I found a couple of the Waccasassa a little further downstream. First, this by pdfsmail:
And this, by Sam Feltus:
I found this picture (photo-shopped to make it artsy), less than a mile from my landing (by V.L.G. Budde):
I’ll close with two (also artsy) shots taken less than a mile from my landing by Karen Raley:
That’ll do it.
© 2015 A Landing A Day