Every year the day arrives when I can say “spring has sprung in the valley,” Today was that day! 49 degrees. Sandhill cranes, redwing blackbirds, Canada geese, a pair of trumpeters, a turkey vulture, a Valley awash in snow melt. While it seems late compared to recent arrival dates, a quick review of past Sandhill arrival dates shows that the cranes arrived right on schedule.
March 15, 2009 “Bitter cold night as late as 03/13/09. So cranes waited until we hit the 50 degree mark two days later.“March 12, 2008 “3 Sandhill cranes fly over Goose Island near La Crosse.March 13, 2008 A Single crane flies, calling, over Coon Creek near Stoddard. Lots of melting snow in the valley. Temp of 56.7 degrees. ”
March 11, 2007 “Sandhill Cranes on the islands off Goose Island Park south of La Crosse. Temps in upper 40s, two weeks after record snowfalls in Western Wisconsin, so lots of snow on the ground. March 12 the cranes are reported along Coon Creek and other valleys off the Upper Mississippi River.”
Feb 23, 2005 (a good two weeks earlier than normal!)
March 15, 2003
March 13, 2002
March 13, 2001 March 16, 1999
March 1, 1998
March 10, 1997
March 13, 1996
March 18, 1993
April 4, 1992
March 9, 1988
March 17, 1987
Much of the central part of the country is currently experiencing dangerous flash floods. See up to the minute status reports for American rivers by clicking on our INTERACTIVE FLOOD LINK in the category list to the right.
Looking for more great content, lots of river content available by clicking on any of the category links.
Below is the USGS interactive map that provides REAL TIME info on which Rivers in the US are cresting. The map below is accurate every day. Black Triangles indicate flood stage. Looking to compare stats with the Flood of 1993? CLICK HERE.
See more interactive maps by clicking the category in the list to right: INTERACTIVE MAPS
© Pat Middleton… To see picture captions, hold your cursor over photos.
Recent landslides after rains of 9-11 inches have many of us reminiscing about past experiences of landslides, rockslides, and flooding along the Mississippi River. Below is my own memory from very similar flooding in 2007.
Enter FLOOD in the Search button to bring up an interactive map that shows flooding at any moment along America’s major waterways as well as stats and Chronologies from previous years..
August 20, 2007
“Mom, you missed the HUUUgest Storm!”
“Mom, you have to hear what’s happening. I’ll read it right from the newspaper!”
OK, as happens almost every year, folks are starting to call about flood conditions along the Upper Mississippi River. Especially with 4th of July holiday around the bend! The image here shows Riverside Park in La Crosse, WI. Basically, the river is plum full and about to start climbing onto the sidewalk. (Thank you Laura Smanski!)
I heard from Davenport, IA, that, yes the riverside has water creeping in, but scheduled events have simply been moved to Higher Ground. Since many campsites along the upper Mississippi River can be impacted by high water, you might want to make a phone call. If sites are available, your reserved site might be moved slightly to higher ground.
Boating of any type is more hazardous in high water. There is lots of debris, including whole trees, flowing by at a mighty quick pace. Canoes and kayaks are not recommended until the river is back to a 6′ stage, rather than the 13+- it is right now. Common Sense is King in high water. Highways, river towns, the Great River Road…not so much to worry about.
Nature’s alarm clock is back on! By 7 a.m. the calls of geese and cranes fill the marsh. Our next waterfowl alert will be the return of the White Pelican.
The pelicans normally follow the melting ice on the river, devouring the fish kill as they move north. Please post your on the comment pages of our Ramblin’ On Blog below!
Spring topics abound in the archives of Greatriver.com… Click HERE for www.greatriver.com birding archives or here for BIRDING archives from our RAMBLIN’ ON Blog. To find a vast array of articles related specifically to Eagles, or Cranes, or other subjects, use our SEARCH engines!
Though rains and snow were both sparse this year, Spring always means a heightened interest in flood conditions along the Mississippi River. Use our search engine to find interactive flood maps.
Record warmth has also prompted a number of media mentions pertaining to the ICE AGE and past GLACIAL patterns. We’ve done a number of feature stories about past ice ages and the formation of the Mississippi River. Find them here….
Ice Age Armadillos, The Clovis Connection.The Kimmswick, Missouri, mastodon …www.greatriver.com/mastodon.htm
|Glacial Lakes and Rivers form the Mississippi River Valley:
With 70 degree days predicted for early next week, we will be seeing more and more of our returning songbirds and waterfowl. Sandhill Cranes, robins, red-winged black-birds, starlings, bluebirds and such are already singing, in addition to Cardinals, titmice and other year-round residents. Sandhills are still very quiet, so they don’t seem to be claiming their nesting territories yet. Send us your comments!! Click here to see our birding archive on the Ramblin’ On blog.
With so little snow this winter, spring flooding is unlikely this season. To see an interactive flood map, as well as past flooding accounts, click here.
The spring 2012 International Festival of Owls was held in Houston, Minnesota, last weekend. It is another harbinger of spring! (Snowy Owl pix, from Alan Stankevitz is left.)
[adsenseyu2]We had a beautiful barred owl in our backyard early one morning last week. Hawks are paired up and bald eagles are nesting. I’ll be watching for the return of white pelicans next… they follow the opening of the Mississippi River… perhaps looking for fish kill as the ice breaks up.
We have featured WHITE PELICANS, EAGLES and other large waterfowl for many years on www.greatriver.com
Please visit our dedicated Birding Index here at Greatriver.com It includes a long history of arrival dates for the sandhill cranes in the Upper Mississippi River valley.
130,000 acres of agricultural land floods after a deliberate break in the Birds Point Levee south of Cairo.
The FLOOD OF 2011 is threatening to rival the flood of 1927!
I can’t think of a more dangerous place to be in the world just now than at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers! Levees completely encircle the city of Cairo, forming an island during floods and the Mississippi River begins to back up into the Ohio River.
For an INTERACTIVE MAP of where flooding is at its worse, visit www.greatriver.com/FLOOD.htm
Some 60% of the water that flows through the U.S. passes through this confluence, including much of the deep south, via the north-flowing Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. As this is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, it is worth noting that General Grant named Cairo Fort Defiance when it was occupied by the Union Army.
See more stats on the major tributaries of the Mississippi River by visiting www.greatriver.com/tribs.htm To follow the progress of high water through the small towns of the Mississippi River, read Discover! America’s Great River Road.