Converging with the Mississippi

One of the items on my husband’s wish list has been to see the place where a local river, the Obion,

empties out into the Mississippi River.  He googled the spot, put a nearby street into the GPS, and with absolutely nothing to do on this particular afternoon, off we went on an adventure.

After a little over an hour’s drive, many fields of soybeans, corn and cotton,

and eliminating several blocked off access roads,

we finally came to the dead-end of a washed-out road which seemed to be the most hopeful place to view the two rivers.

We parked the car under a large shade tree

and off we headed down a secluded dirt path through a canopy of tall trees and undergrowth

to see if it did indeed lead to a place where the two rivers could be viewed.

Mission accomplished!  A perfect overlook from which to see the mouth of the Obion and the place where its waters flow into the Mississippi.

Note:  The Mississippi lies just beyond the floating dock.

Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.
~Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney

Turtle watching

As a small child, one of my favorite parts of going to Reelfoot Lake was seeing the turtles lined up on the logs along the roadside and out in the lake.  Nothing has changed.  This is still one of the highlights of my visits.

“There is absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush.  Everybody should be free to go slow.”  ~Robert Frost

Unlikely places

“No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”  ~ Sheryl Crow

“Wildflowers don’t care where they grow.”  ~Dolly Parton

“I think I like wildflowers best … They just grow wherever they want.  No one has to plant them.  And then their seeds blow in the wind and they find a new place to grow.”  ~Rebecca Donovan

“Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”  ~Ronald Dahl

“How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold?  Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold.”  ~William Wordsworth

Black-necked stilt

In April, we were delighted to see these delicate-looking shorebirds hunting for food in the shallow waters of flooded farm fields close to the Mississippi levee.  They only visit our area for a short time, and then migrate on.

“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”  ~Charles Dickens

Green Frog

A Green Frog sits on the stem of an aquatic plant, waiting patiently for his next meal to come along.

“Time’s fun when you’re havin’ flies.”  ~Kermit the Frog

A fledgling

This young bird was sitting in the shade on our driveway one afternoon.   Later, when I checked on it, it had moved on to parts unknown.

“The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  ~Thomas Edison

Burrowing Crayfish

During the daytime, crayfish are seldom seen out in the open, but recently after a good rain, I spotted one moving about in the shallow, clear water of a ditch.

In the spring, crayfish dig tunnels down many feet to reach ground water.  As they dig, they use their legs and mouth to bring mud pellets up to the surface and place them around the opening of their burrows.

They continue adding more pellets on top of each layer until a chimney is formed.  The mud dries hard and serves as a defense against predators.

Each crayfish’s chimney is unique.  Occasionally I like to stop and admire the architecture formed by these freshwater crustaceans, and can’t help but wonder if they were perhaps the inspiration for human adobe or mud homes.

As dry, hot weather arrives, the crayfish plug up the entrance to their burrows and move further down the tunnels where the environment is more to their liking.

“Architects cannot teach nature anything.”  ~ Mark Twain