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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Burns’

Burns, Oregon (revisited)

Posted by graywacke on May 5, 2015

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 2177; A Landing A Day blog post number 605.

Dan:  Before I start, it’s time for a confession.  For the first time in 605 postings, I screwed up the order!  My last post (Deer Trail & Agate CO) is post number 606 and this is post number 605.  I really doubt that any of you readers would have noticed, but I needed to set the record straight.  On with the post:

Thanks to this OSer, I’m back above 150 (but still at 5/10) . . . OR; 83/70; 5/10; 9; 149.8. 

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

You can see on the following map that I landed in the Crowcamp Creek watershed; on to the Malheur Slough and on to Lake Malheur:

 landing 3

It turns out that Lake Malheur is internally-drained, and this is the second time I’ve landed in the Lake Malheur drainage basin.

I attempted to delineate the Lake Malheur watershed boundaries using Street Atlas.  As you can see, I couldn’t figure out a convenient way to draw a line, so I added a bunch of “waypoints” along the watershed boundary:

 landing 3a

According to Wiki, the drainage basin is about 5,300 square miles.  Looks about right (100 miles by 50 miles).  Anyway, more about the lake later. 

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight to my landing:

 

 

And yes, there’s Street View coverage fairly close:

 GE 2

And here’s Street View shot from the orange dude:

 GE SV

I realized that a while back (landing 1897, June 2010) I landed very close by:

 GE 1

While mapping out the Malheur Lake drainage basin for this landing, I realized that landing 1897 was in the same basin.  But my landing spreadsheet erroneously stated that I landed in the Malheur River watershed (on to the Snake).  Although the watershed divide is close by, I was flat out wrong.  When it comes to watersheds, there’s no gray area.  Anyway, correction made, making this landing (as mentioned above) my second Malheur Lake internal landing.

So what about the name Malheur?  It turns out that the lake is named after the nearby river mentioned in the above paragraph.  From Wiki:

The name of the river is derived from the French for “misfortune.”  The name was attached to the river by French Canadian trappers because some beaver furs they had stored by the river were discovered and stolen by Indians.

[Seems like a pretty lame reason to burden an entire river with such a negative name, eh?]

The river lived up to its name a second time in 1845, when mountain man Stephen Meek, seeking a faster route along the Oregon Trail, led a migrant party up the river valley into the high desert along a route that has since become known as the Meek Cutoff.  After leaving the river valley the party was unable to find a water supply and lost 23 people by the time they reached the Columbia River.

Malheur, indeed.  So anyway, Burns is the big town around (and the other towns were hookless).  Here’s something of interest from the Burns City website:

Burns was named after the Scottish poet Robert Burns when storeowner George McGowan turned down the opportunity of immortality by having the town named after him and declared the town be named after the “Poet of the People, Mr. Burns”.

As mentioned above, I landed nearby back in June 2010.  What’s more, I featured Burns, and in particular, Robert Burns.  I had this to say:

So, what about Robert Burns?  I must confess that my knowledge is minimal.  I guess I knew he was a Scottish poet, but that’s about it.  From Wiki:

burns1

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English with a “light” Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these pieces, his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and after his death became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world, celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.

In 2009 he was voted by the Scottish public as being the Greatest Scot, through a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and has served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country.

There you have it.  Did you know he wrote Auld Lang Syne?  I didn’t.  From Wiki:

“Auld Lang Syne” is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.  It is well known in many English-speaking (and other) countries and is often sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, its use has also become common at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.

The song’s Scots title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago,” “days gone by” or “old times”. 

Consequently “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as “for (the sake of) old times”.

Here’s Susan Boyles’ version of Auld Lang Syne.  It’s lovely.

 

 

OK, OK.  I can’t help myself.  I’m sure that nearly all of my readers are familiar with the famous Susan Boyle video, but it never grows old.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, and think you will too (even if you’ve seen it numerous times already, like me):

 

 

She has gone on to amazing financial and artistic success . . .

And as my MLB.com writer/blogger son Ben says, I’m in a no-segue zone as I get back to my landing:

nosegway

So, what about Malheur Lake?  From Wiki:

Malheur Lake is a remnant of a much larger Pleistocene lake that drained east to the Malheur River, a tributary of the Snake River. The size of this ancient lake, which existed during a wetter climate, has been estimated at 900 square miles, with a shallow depth (a maximum of 35 feet).  The basin is of tectonic origin, associated with the same tensional forces that created the Basin & Range geologic province of the inter-montane West.

The lakes as well as nearby marshes and playas are part of Harney Basin. The basin, a closed depression, covers 5,300 square miles, which makes it larger than the state of Connecticut.

Here are a couple of GE Pano shots of Malheur Lake, first this one by Sonny Thornborrow:

 pano sonny thornborrow

And then this, by Tim Land:

 pano tim land

I’ll close with this Pano shot by Robert H. Geiger, taken just north of my landing:

 pano robert h geiger

 

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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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. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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Burns and Juntura, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on June 23, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (now pretty much an every-other-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 –  After a southeastern USer (NC), let me take a diagonal all the way across the country to a northwest OSer . . . OR; 71/61; 4/10; 1; 151.0.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to many small towns (including Juntura) and Burns, a somewhat larger town:


Here’s a broader view:


I landed in the watershed of Clear Ck (my 18th watershed name with “clear” in it; more specifically, my 10th “Clear Ck”); on to the Stinkingwater Ck (my 26th “Blank-Water” stream or river); on to the Malheur R (4th hit); to the Snake R (69th hit); to the Columbia (136th hit).

My “Blank-Water” names include Stillwater, Badwater, Clearwater, Runningwater, Sweetwater, Coldwater, Freshwater, Blackwater, Redwater, Bitterwater, Whitewater, Saltwater, Fallingwater, and, yes, Stinkingwater.

This area is very arid (averaging only something like 11 inches/year of rain).  Any water that hangs around is like to stink a little . . .

Speaking of arid, check out my GE shot:

The word “hardscrabble” came into my head when I looked at this broader GE view:


Although this was my fourth landing in the Malheur R watershed, it’s my first since ALAD.  Here’s a little history about the Malheur from Wiki:

The name of the river is derived from the French for “misfortune.”  The name was attached to the river by French Canadian trappers.  Their misfortune was that some beaver furs they had cached there were discovered and stolen by Indians.

[Seems like a pretty lame reason to burden an entire river with such a negative name, eh?]

The name first appears in the record in 1826 when Peter Skene Ogden, a fur trapper with the Hudson’s Bay Company, referred to it as “River au Malheur” and thereafter as “Unfortunate River.”  The river lived up to its name a second time in 1845, when mountain man Stephen Meek, seeking a faster route along the Oregon Trail, led a migrant party up the river valley into the high desert along a route that has since become known as the Meek Cutoff.  After leaving the river valley the party was unable to find a water supply and lost 23 people by the time they reached the Columbia River.

Here’s a shot of the Malheur in Harney County (the very county in which I landed):


So, Burns is the largest town in the area.  From Wiki:

Burns was established in the early 1880s and incorporated upon Harney county’s creation in 1889. It was named for the Scottish poet Robert Burns by early settler and County Commissioner George McGowan.

So, what about Robert Burns?  I must confess that my knowledge is minimal.  I guess I knew he was a Scottish poet, but that’s about it.  From Wiki:


Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English with a “light” Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these pieces, his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and after his death became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world, celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.

In 2009 he was voted by the Scottish public as being the Greatest Scot, through a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and Scots Wha Hae [which, unspectacularly, means “Scots Who Have”] served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country.  Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well-known across the world today include A Red, Red Rose; A Man’s A Man for A’ That; To a Louse; To a Mouse; The Battle of Sherramuir; Tam o’ Shanter, and Ae Fond Kiss.

There you have it.  Did you know he wrote Auld Lang Syne?  I didn’t.  From Wiki:

Auld Lang Syne” is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.  It is well known in many English-speaking (and other) countries and is often sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, its use has also become common at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.

The song’s Scots title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago,” “days gone by” or “old times”.

Consequently “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as “for (the sake of) old times”.

The other town that got top billing in this post is Juntura.  What I found of interest is the Juntura Hot Spring.  The existence of a hot spring is no big deal; there are hundreds of them throughout the west (and I have discussed many hot springs in this blog).  However, it’s the location of this hot spring that really caught my attention.  It’s on an island in the Malheur River!  Here’s a GE shot – you can see the island with the hot spring out at the end of the big river meander:

Here’s a closeup, so you can see the actual hotspring:

As a geologist (and a geologist who specializes in groundwater at that), I am very aware that groundwater flows into streams and rivers (after all, that’s why streams keep on flowing for months and months even when it doesn’t rain much).  My guess is that here near Juntura, groundwater passes near a geologic hot spot on its way to flowing up into the river.  I guess that some of this water flows directly into the river, but the heat is quickly dissapated by the flow of all of the cold river water.  But for a reason unknown to me, some of this upwelling water ends up in this little pond on this little island.  Anyway, it’s very cool.  (OK, OK, so it’s very warm . . .)  It makes me think that there are probably many areas where warm groundwater discharges into rivers, but nobody knows, because it doesn’t warm the river enough for anyone to notice.

Here’s a picture of some guy enjoying a soothing soak:


Moving right along . . . Malheur Lake is shown near the southern edge of my landing map.  It’s an internally-drained lake, fed primarily by the Donner Und Blizten River, which flows into it from the south.  For those of you who, like me, don’t speak German, “Donner Und Blitzen” means “Thunder & Lightening!”  All of these years with Rudolph’s buddies, and I never knew what that meant!

Anyway, I’ll close with this Michael Axel photograph (at leicaglow.com) of Malheur Lake:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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