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

 

 

 

 

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    

 

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.

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.

 

 

Good Fun Presenting to Preschoolers!

pat in Buckskin at school    Rich and I had great fun recently presenting as our 1830s characters to the Congregational Preschool in La Crosse!
As “Mrs. Phelps, I talked about my life in wild Iowa and displayed furs traded by members of the Keokuk tribe… fox, mink, beaver, deer, and, for fun, a Kangaroo!

“Old John” found an avid audience for his bird calls, clam shells, and turtle skeleton. Fun for Everyone!!

     “We liked the bird noises.”  “The animal claws were neat!” “I liked the bunny purse.” “The skins were so soft!” “We liked looking at shells.”