A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Afton Minnesota’

Afton, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on December 25, 2010

First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times 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), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan – I guess four USers in a row is too much to hope for, so here’s a solid OSer . . . MN; 69/53; 4/10; 9; 156.0.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Afton and the St. Croix R.  Note that the St. Croix is the boundary between MN & WI. I’m not suffering angst about not landing in WI (it’s OSer, too):

Obviously, I landed in the St. Croix R watershed (4th hit); on to the MM (763rd hit). Here’s a pretty shot of the St. Croix near Afton:

Here’s a broader view, showing my proximity to the Twin Cities:

Here’s an even broader view:

My GE shot shows what looks like pretty ritzy properties – after all, this is only 15 miles east of St. Paul, well within commuting distance:

About Afton, from the Washington County Historical Society website:

Afton Township was first settled about 1837. According to many historical accounts, Mrs. C. S. Getchel gave Afton its name. The landscape reminded her of Robert Burns’ poem, “Afton Water,” with its “neighboring hills, and the winding rills.”

Afton’s first name, however, was Catfish Bar, alluding to a large sandbar in the St. Croix River that is still visible when water levels are low. In the days before bridges, or even ferryboats, Catfish Bar was a place where the river could be forded by cattle and horses.

Here’s a GE shot showing Afton and the “Catfish Bar,” jutting out from the opposite bank.  (The weird color change down the middle is because this is edge between two different aerial photos.)

So, here’s “Afton Water” by Robert Burns:

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes, [braes = hills]

Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise;

My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.


Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds thro’ the glen, [stock dove = pigeon]

Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,

Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,

I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.


How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,

Far mark’d with the courses of clear winding rills;

There daily I wander as noon rises high,

My flocks and my Mary’s sweet cot in my eye.


How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,

Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;

There oft, as mild Ev’ning sweeps over the lea,

The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.


Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,

And winds by the cot where my Mary resides,

How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,

As gathering sweet flowrets she stems thy clear wave.


Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,

Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays; [lays = poetry]

My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.


If reference to Robert Burns sounds familiar, it should.   My June 2010 Burns, Oregon post featured Robert Burns, for an obvious reason.

Anyway, here’s a nice shot of the St. Croix from Afton State Park:

I’ll close with this rainbow at the Park.

That’ll do it. . .



© 2010 A Landing A Day

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