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Pat Middleton is the founder/publisher of the Mississippi River Home Page at www.greatriver.com and Great River Publishing which has produced quality river heritage and natural history books since 1987.

Woohoo! Tundra Swans by the thousands this morning!

Had the great joy this morning of seeing thousands of pristine white Tundra Swans along Wisconsin’s Hwy 35, just to south of Goose Island!  The sky was full of flying swans as well as swans filling the ponds.  When I returned 1/2 an hour later, the skies were empty and there were fewer swans on the water.

Tundra Swan

“So where did they go?” I asked another birder who was panning with his scope.

“Did you notice that the wind changed direction and picked up, since 11 a.m. ? That’s what some of them were looking for. They’ve already resumed their migration to Chesapeake Bay.”

I was also curious as to what he saw in the scope. “Any gray cignets (juveniles)?” He said, yes, a few, but indeed most were adults and most were not family groups. The first drop of migrating swans is normally the single swans rather than swans traveling with juveniles.

Finally, make a grand journey THIS WEEKEND along the Great River Road between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Dubuque, Ia.  In addition to Swans in the pools north of Genoa, American Bald Eagles are migrating and we are flush with both our resident eagles and the eagles moving down from the north (more on this in a later piece). Remember to visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN.

BEST Fall color on the AQRichardFall Color will be in its waning weekend the next several days. Oaks are a rich rust color and some of the late coloring trees are still coming into color (it’s all in the genes!)

So hit the road!! There is lots to see! and don’t forget your copy of Discover! America’s Great River Road by River Author, Pat Middleton... your guide to eagle watching, regional history, Treasure Hunting, commercial fishing, and more!!! Order your copy of each of the four volumes which lead travelers from St. Paul to the Gulf of Mexico by CLICKING HERE!

Discover America's Great River Road, Vol 1 - St.Paul Minnesota to Dubuque Iowa By Pat Middleton

 

 

 

 

White Phase Turkeys

white phase turkeyHere’s a nice discovery for November! Wild Turkeys quite commonly appear in their white phase. Again the white version is not a mutation, or “half domestic”, it is simply a white phase of our familiar turkey.  Use the SEARCH button to see more of our “white phase” collection!  We saw these too at HIDDEN HILLS off Hwy K, near Goose Island. Our toddlers enjoyed seeing the pigs, goats, turkeys, calves, and all!

 

Plan ahead for Map Gift Giving! Textiles, Fine Art Prints, Home Decor

Our Historic Map Collection is Growing by Leaps and Bounds! More than 350 hand painted Historic, Retro, and Custom Designed Maps are now available, many on our Mississippi River-focused Great River Shopping Cart !

Now is the time to order your historic map ART for Christmas/Holiday gifting.  

Our 1887 Mississippi River Historic Ribbon Map can now be artisan matted, framed and shipped nation-wide for $220. Need a custom map of YOUR estate or favorite destination? Please PHONE 888-255-7726  Hand painted originals available now! Usual wait period is 1 month! So order now for a gift to be available by Christmas. Four matting choices!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH our Map shopping site by any KEYWORD… date, cartographer, locale, state, etc. If you don’t find it, Call us! 888-255-7726

Custom Framing Services   

Old Time Railroad Stories in three volumes

Steamboating on America’s Rivers!

Phone 406-471-756 with Questions, or
visit our MAP Shopping Cart to order online!

For Mississippi River BOOKS and More, visit click links above, or enter BOOKS in the Search Box.

 

COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, Kindle Version, Free on Amazon!

You never know what you might find on Amazon, and today I discovered they are offering a FREE promotional Kindle version of Michael Gillespie’s COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, A Lively History of Steamboating on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. That seldom happens, to my knowledge, so I am happy to share this brief opportunity with you. If you enjoy this excellent Kindle version Steamboat Anthology, please be sure to review it! 

Here is the link, the Kindle version is normally $9.99! Now available in Kindle Format.   $9.99  

Come Hell or High Water, Volume 1 (Kindle Edition): True Tales of Steamboating on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers (The Era of Steam) by [Gillespie, Michael]You can also purchase the perfect bound paperback of 300 pages direct from the publisher HERE.

True Stories of Steamboating on the Missouri River from one of our favorite steam era authors! In Come Hell or High Water, Gillespie invites the reader to experience the challenge that was steamboating in the nineteenth century–as recorded firsthand by passengers, crew members and journalists. Dozens of historic photos, charts, maps and Illustrations.

“For one brief moment in history, it was possible to slide down a muddy bank, board a steamboat, and travel anywhere within a 16,0000-mile system of inland waterways known as the Western Rivers. They included the incomparable Mississippi River…”

300 pages, 6×9″, ISBN 0-9620823-2-5   $19.99

Also available in Kindle Format.   $9.99    

 

USGS Reports Earthquake Swarms in Missouri

      Is the big one about to hit the central United States? Maybe not, but a recent swarm of medium-sized earthquakes in Missouri’s New Madrid region has residents on edge.        nmblog_NewMadrid

 The area of the New Madrid fault is the site of the nation’s most powerful earthquakes ever east of the Rocky Mountains which occurred in 1811–12 and caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards. This same area experienced six quakes on Monday, September 30, 2019, according to officials with the United States Geological Survey.

 

Two larger quakes were originally reported as 2.8 in magnitude each. They were later each downgraded to 2.7 magnitude. The third large quake was originally reported as a 2.7 magnitude. It was later downgraded to a 2.6 magnitude.  A sixth was recorded later in the day.

All six recorded earthquakes on Sept 30, 2019 include:

According to the USGS, there have been 12 earthquakes in the past seven days in the Heartland. Click on the blue links for detailed info from the USGS.

New Madrid If an earthquake the size of the 1811-12 earthquake hit today, cities from St. Lto Memphis would see extensive damage in the hundreds of Billions with a loss of possibly thousands of lives. Midwestern cities typically do not have building codes that account for earthquakes because of their relatively rare occurrence.

–Dwight Widaman, Metrovoicenews.com 

 

Fall Colors Just Around the Bend!

Fall Foliage Hot Lines from greatriver.com  Try this new Prediction Map for the entire US! It says Smoky Mountains, but it is actually the whole country!   https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/

Treasure Hunting is a perfect outdoor activity for cool and colorful days. Our beginner's guide to Treasure Hunting is a favorite among our readers! Available now from AMAZON Books for just $2.99.

Treasure Hunting is a perfect outdoor activity for cool and colorful days. Our beginner’s guide to Treasure Hunting along the Mississippi River is a favorite among our readers! Available now from AMAZON Books for just $2.99.

While mid-October seems to be the time when Fall Foliage really POPS along the Upper Mississippi River, we on the Upper River are certainly already seeing brilliant red sumacs. Softwoods are starting to yellow up. You can follow the southward march of Fall Color with the contacts below. Weather is perfect, enjoy the drive!

Arkansas.  https://www.arkansas.com/arkansas-seasons/fall (late October to early November)

Illinois.  800-226-6632; www.enjoyillinois.com (early October)

Kentucky. 800-225-8747;  (late October)

Minnesota. 800-657-3700; www.exploreminnesota.com (late September to mid-October)

Missouri. 800-778-1234; www.missouritourism.org (mid-to-late October)

Tennessee. 800-697-4200; Fall Folliage Predition Map (early November)

Wisconsin. 800-432-8747; www.travelwisconsin.com (early through mid-October)


And don’t leave home without the indispensable guides to Mississippi River and Great River Road travel! Every volume of DISCOVER! America’s Great River Road is filled with a variety of fascinating Mississippi River fact and lore.  Photos, maps, charts!  All Volumes contain info on birding, wildlife viewing hotspots. Each highlights Geography, interpretive history and natural history attractions along the Great River Road.  SAVE $10!!!  

 

Click HERE to Purchase Discover! America’s Great River Road… St. Paul, Minnesota,  Discovr! Guides are available in four volumes from St. Paul to Venice, Louisiana, individually signed by the author.  Available on Amazon as paperback ($22) or KINDLE guide (9.99).  Or phone 888-255-7726 and we will send you your copy TODAY.

Driftless Region Mysteries

The unglaciated region of western Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and southeastern Minnesota is a natural and beautifully sculpted landscape that is known as the Driftless Area. The area is considered “Driftless” because it was not shaped by the movement of glaciers thousands of years ago. A part of the attraction to the region is the forested hillsides that extend into deeply carved river valleys that cut into limestone bedrocks. A key feature that makes the Driftless Area a unique place is the Baraboo Range, comprising of a collection of monadnocks- huge masses of rock rising up out of the middle of a plateau. The Driftless Area is a strange combination of plateau, deep river gorges, sinkholes, bluffs, and monadnocks.

DRIFTLESS AREAThe Driftless Area covers about 20,000 square miles, which primarily extends into western Wisconsin-roughly 85 percent. The landscape has plenty of caves, notably Viroqua City Cave and Cave of the Mounds, and the most rugged part of Driftless Wisconsin is the Ocooch Mountains. In southeastern Minnesota the Driftless Area begins at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. This region is defined by vegetation of mixed woodland, goat prairies, and old plateau covered by loess. The Minnesota River cuts across the Driftless Area. In Driftless Iowa the landscape is of forested valleys, streams, rivers, and majestic limestone bluffs. In Illinois, rolling hills and wooded ridges, and features such canyons, ravines, bluffs, and palisades makes up its portion of the Driftless region

Order Your Own Copy of our DRIFTLESS  map Here

The Driftless Area’s forests, prairies, wetlands, and grasslands provides ideal habitat for wildflowers and wildlife. Farming continues to be an activity that thrives in the Driftless Area. Unique soil conditions and higher elevations are ideal for growing particular crops. Amish farmers have long situated themselves in the region, but a new breed of organic farmers has emerged in Driftless. Wisconsin in particular, has expanded into a hotbed of organic farming. The Driftless Region is also ripe for fishing for a variety of trout including brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. Whitetail deer and wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant, along with other games such as ducks and geese, grouse, quail, mourning dove, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, fox, and coyote can all be hunted in specific portions of the Driftless Area.

Lisa Middleton’s provides a detailed mapping of the region, and depicts particular features that partly shape the region. The Driftless Region is simply a beautiful and diverse landscape that is like no

Order Your Own Copy Here

You will also love our antiquarian map collection! Click Here

 

New Textiles Feature River Map Art!

I had fun previewing a new line of home decor and totes featuring our own Driftless Region and Pool 8  Retailers let me know if you’d like more info !  Use the discount code patspecial and we will call you with details.

899F2003-D829-4BF2-9F90-63650B427A26

For individuals purchasing, choose a map (any map) at Greatriverarts.com and CLICK HERE to order a plush throw, hardy tote, decorative pillow…even socks. Just tell us in comments which map you want reproduced on the item.

Right now, Lisa is offering discounted pricing for our valued customers, however, she has a minimum of 4 for any item ordered.  So bring your CHRISTMAS LIST! All major credit cards accepted.

305ADA12-25C9-426B-9141-8BF24707FD60  Plush Throw  $52  C9B0A43D-0A17-4E46-BD78-E20B496EF825 Comfy Pillows  $2873D29372-DCDD-4555-8991-C479E928C119  Sturdy Canvas 18″ Totes $31

HAND-PAINTED HISTORIC MAPS coming to UW-L Campus, July 27-28,2019

lisa works cropped

Map Artist, Lisa Middleton will display a full selection of beautiful original map art and fine art prints at Art Fair on the Green, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, July 27-28, 2019.

Click greatriverarts.com, for a sampling of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Great Lakes, and Minnesota map art.  Or choose any other key word to explore many 100s of historic and custom map designs in Lisa’s gallery!


New! custom design of
POOL 8!! 

Pool 8 of the Mississippi River

 

Flooding of 2019 Now Compared to 1993

I am beginning to relive some of the trauma of life along the Middle Mississippi Mississippi during 1993. Valmayer, Illinois, is back in the news as the community works desparately to fill 25,000 sandbags, and flooding at the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi near St. Louis has caused widespread flooding. During 1993, which closed down commercial shipping on the river for many months, I traveled the river frequently. ALWAYS it was stomach-wrenching!

The Flood of 2019 has now been ongoing some 82 days… since MARCH for folks in the Middle Mississippi. As we watch the current flood peaking in the next week, and hear about “levee boils” and breaks in the levees, it is worth noting that in 1993, the first dam did not burst until June 20th in Wisconsin. It was August 2 before the Mississippi crested at 49.7 feet in St. Louis. Today, rains still fall from Oklahoma to Louisiana, impacting both the Missouri and the Lower Mississippi Rivers. 2019 has been a record flood in terms of the time it has been affecting those who live along the Mississippi and its tributaries.

First a Chronology of the Flood of 1993, compiled by Pat Middleton, Greatriver.com  

1993 Mississippi Flood CHRONOLOGY

 March 10
The National Weather Service predicts below normal precipitation for the summer: “but above average rainfall could mean flooding, given soil saturation, spring snow depths, and normal spring rains.”
 June 10
The first 8” rainstorms begin in Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minnesota June 20The first dam bursts, submerging 100 homes to their rooftops on the Black River in Western Wisconsin. The upper 200 miles of the Mississippi River are closed to river traffic. Locks and Dams are not operating.
July 5
The bridge at Keokuk closes.
 July 10
The bridge closes at Fort Madison, Iowa, which has experienced rain for 54 of 58 days.  830 miles of Mississippi River are closed to boat traffic between Cairo, Illinois and St. Paul, Minnesota. Over 100 rivers feeding into the Mississippi River flood by July 14.  Unprecedented high-water on the Missouri River, Des Moines River, Illinois, Iowa, Skunk, Rock and Raccoon rivers (all tributaries of the Mississippi River) promote the massive flooding of the Mississippi River.
July 16
The last Quincy, Illinois, bridge is closed, leaving no bridge between Alton, Illinois and Burlington, Iowa. The Mississippi River is flooded to seven miles inland.
July 24
The Mississippi River at Quincy crests at a record 32 feet.
August 2
The Mississippi River crests at 49.7 feet in St. Louis, Missouri. Eleven times the volume of Niagara Falls is flowing under Eads Bridge; enough to fill Busch stadium every 65 seconds.
August 24
The Mississippi River locks reopen to commercial river traffic.
August 30
The Des Moines River floods again, after another 10 inches of rain falls.  The Mississippi River stays open.

 Sandbags and Stuff
 (Statistics collected from various regional newspaper sources.)
These stats offer a base for comparison as states come out for the Flood of 2019.

  • Estimated that two truckloads of sand (a little less than fifty tons) will fill 4000 sandbags.
  • More than 26.5 million sandbags were used in towns along the Mississippi River during the Flood of 1993
  • Approximately 927 million pounds of sand was used to fill those sandbags
  • Homeowners had to fill their own sandbags
  • In all, 150 primary and secondary levees failed during the summer.
  • 12 billion dollars in damages
  • 48 deaths
  • nine states involved
  • 1 inch of water on an acre of land equals 27,143 gallons.