A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Riverboats America & American Duchess In Town Today

I love taking pictures of the riverboats from this spot on Washington Street looking down at The Old Depot Museum.  America on the left and American Duchess of the right with her pretty blue umbrellas!  

America and American Duchess from top of the hill.

America and American Duchess moored at the riverfront in the Yazoo Diversion Canal today near the railroad tracks.

America's passengers coming back on board after touring historical sights in town and at the Vicksburg National Military Park by bus.  

"The American Duchess"

I love this little red caboose parked near The Old Depot Museum with riverboats America on the left and American Duchess on the right.  

America and American Duchess moored real close to the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals.

Since our hometown is a civil war town, I took this picture of the "Welcome to Vicksburg" signage with the cannon in the foreground. I'm so glad we have a welcome sign now for all the passengers touring our historic town from the riverboats and tourists/visitors. Artist Drew Landon Harris did a great job of painting on the Washington Street building and was inspired by the topography of the Vicksburg area with the hills, valley, and tributaries.  Vicksburg:  The Key To The South!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Sunset On June 24, 2019 @ Mighty Mississippi River

Here are a few pictures I took yesterday evening as the sun was setting on the Mighty Mississippi River at my hometown of Vicksburg, MS.  

The white light you see is a train coming across the old Hwy 80 bridge late yesterday evening before I left.  I really enjoyed taking in the awesome sunset we had on Monday, June 24, 2919. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Some Downtown Fun With Family

My youngest daughter, Marian Suzanne "Suzi" and granddaughters Kate and Emma visiting from Virginia went to town last Thursday and had a great time taking pictures.  Here are some photos we took while at the Levee Street Marketplace downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Above is my youngest granddaughter, Kate who is 6 years old.  

Granddaughter Emma who will be 12 years old next month.  

Little Kate catching a BIG CATFISH!

Emma with some really BIG WINGS!

Little Kate on a real tractor at the Levee Street Marketplace.  She had to get back on it one more time before we left.  She loved that tractor!

Daughter Suzi, Kate, and Emma at the Old Court House Museum.

Grandaughters Kate (running out of steam) and Emma with their Gran Gran.

Old Court House Museum entrance sign.

A plaque on the grounds of the Old Court House Museum is my daughter's Great Great Great Grandfather Dr. J. D. (John David) Miles and Granddaughter's Great Great Great Great Grandfather. 

Little Kate and Emma standing by a civil war cannon on the grounds.  Afterward, we all went to Dairy Queen for ice cream on a very hot day.  We all had a great time! They left yesterday morning heading back to Virginia.  They will all be terribly missed.  I hope next year to make the trip to Virginia to see them.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Taking A Break!

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I'm taking a break until next week to spend quality time with my family visiting from Virginia.  Wishing you a great rest-of-the-week as well.  ~Marian  

Monday, June 17, 2019

GIANT Illinois 5-1/2 Year Old Buck In Rut

Hunting during the rut can be the best time to tag that buck of a lifetime.  Gregg Ritz is bow hunting in Illinois during the middle of the rut.  The buck Gregg is after storms into the flood plot chasing a hot doe.  A hunt Gregg will never forget!  My congratulations to Gregg Ritz on a fine buck in our great wild outdoors!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Basic Backwater Flood Facts

The Backwater Flood isn’t the same as the Mississippi River flood, but they are connected.
After the Great Flood of 1927, the federal government stepped in and decided to fix things. They developed plans to help hold the course of the Mississippi River.
The Mississippi drains 41 percent of the water in the United States. During heavy rainfall or snowmelt events, the river is tasked with moving an incomprehensible amount of water out of the Midwest and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Because water always takes the path of least resistance, the natural process includes flooding lands along the river and its tributaries. Left to its own devices, the Mississippi River would eventually flow in a relatively straight line down the middle of the country, changing its course and taking surrounding land at will.
To stop that natural eventuality the government developed plans to maintain the banks as they existed in 1927 and minimize the impact of floods on landowners. To this effect, the government came up with numerous projects to channel flood waters in the direction it wanted them to go.
The original plan included a project called the Eudora Floodway in Arkansas that would have moved flood water away from the Mississippi Delta. The good people of Arkansas, though, weren’t pleased, and they won government favor to stop the Eudora Floodway from being built.
The government then developed a plan for the lower Mississippi Delta, the Yazoo Backwater Project, to channel flood waters to a central point at Steele Bayou, and then pump the high water out of that location. Congress authorized that project in 1941, and it was 75 percent complete by 1969.
The original plan including the location of the Steele Bayou Pumps.
When President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, the agency was empowered to weigh in on any effort that may adversely impact the environment. For the Yazoo Backwater Project, that meant an extra step to evaluate the pumps that would complete the final 25 percent of the project. Those pumps were designed to move flood water out of the Yazoo Basin at Steele Bayou to a location created by almost 40 years of planning and building levees and channels.
The EPA evaluation stopped the project and added several years to study whether the plan’s completion would impact the environment.
Thirty-eight years of red tape and bureaucratic process later, the EPA in 2008 decided that completing the Yazoo Backwater Project was not a good idea.
“Construction and operation of the proposed pumping station would adversely impact at least 67,000 acres of wetlands and other waters of the United States,” the EPA states on its website. “EPA has determined that these impacts would result in unacceptable adverse effects on fishery areas and wildlife.”
EPA decided that the pumps at Steele Bayou, pumps that would move the water out of the South Delta, could not be completed. In effect, the government had spent 40 years planning and building levees and channels guaranteed to flood the land north of the gates at Steele Bayou when both the river and the local rain amounts are high.
The gates at Steele Bayou are designed to drain the water out of the South Delta when the Mississippi River is falling. Beginning last October, however, the river began rising, and the gates could not be opened. Combined with the unusual amount of rain in the area, the closed gates kept the rainwater on the land, flooding it.
The natural drainage process at the gates is minimal and slow. To be effective at preventing flooding, pumps are needed to move floodwaters out of the South Delta when the Mississippi is high. Today, the gates only allow the natural flow of water down, out of the South Delta and into the Yazoo River, which then drains into the Mississippi.
Entities in favor of completing the pumps, such as the Mississippi Levee Board, claim the drain rate with the pumps would also be low, resulting in a negligible impact on the Yazoo or Mississippi river levels. Wetlands north of the Steele Bayou control structure would also be maintained with the pumps, they claim.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is actively pushing the Trump administration to revive the project and reverse the EPA’s veto, reports E&E News. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Army Corps chief R.D. James have promised Hyde-Smith that they will take a second look at completing the project.
If and when the pumps are completed, they will come too late for many residents of the South Delta today. The closed gates at Steele Bayou are responsible for flooding some 550,000 acres of land, much of it prime farmland that may not see a crop this year.
Wildlife is stranded and imperiled because it has nowhere to go. Predators and prey share the same small patches of dry ground.
It's home underwater, a deer with nowhere to go may have starved.  An 8,000-gallon tank spray painted with "finish the pumps" share a common enemy: flood waters.  
Published by Vicksburg Daily News (David Day) on June 7, 2019, and Ronni Mott contributed to this story.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Chronic Wasting Disease Fear Grows In Mississippi

Photo by Melissa Lum Lyons.

They call them Zombie Deer.
The real name for what’s affecting them is Chronic Wasting Disease. It is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk, and moose that causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. It is called the Zombie Deer Disease because of the way it makes the deer behave. CWD is also contagious, and from February 2018 to March of this year, 19 confirmed cases were reported statewide, and two in Issaquena County according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Most of the samples that contributed to that count were given voluntarily, so the number could be much higher.

The MDWFP map of samples provided to find cases of CWD.

The Great Backwater Flood of 2019 has likely made cases of CWD more extensive. With floodwater covering some 550,000 acres of land in the South Delta, in some areas, thousands of acres are underwater with no high ground to be found. The wildlife in those areas has nowhere to go. Different species are forced onto the same patch of land, with predators and prey sitting in the same small feeding area. With the Backwater Flood in its 4th month, those small patches provided almost no shelter and now are no longer providing food. This is causing some animals to starve and others to seek a better area to feed. Those seeking another area are crossing roadways.
The combination of small, crowded feeding areas and a chronic wasting disease has stoked fears the disease may reach epidemic proportions and cross over to other species, including humans. In a report from USA Today, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said CWD has been confirmed in 25 states and offered this warning on CWD: “It is probable that human cases of chronic wasting disease associated with consumption with contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead. “It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial, and will not be isolated events.”
His best advice is to not any eat meat from wild animals unless it has been tested.
For those who travel through the Delta these days, the site of roadkill is epidemic. The number of animals that have been hit and killed on the roadways is alarming. David Childers travels Highway 61 to work most days.

David Childers provided a photo of the alligator on side or road in Warren County.

“This is alligator number TWENTY-SEVEN that’s been hit in a 5-mile stretch between north Redwood and Valley Park. Not to mention, MANY deer, raccoons, possums, bobcats and snapping turtles. And this is just in the Redwood/Valley Park area,” Childers wrote in a message to the Vicksburg Daily News. “There is no telling the number of dead wildlife over half a million acres that have been flooded for over four months”.
Although it may be tempting to grab an animal that was just killed on the roadway, have the meat tested for the disease. If you can’t have it tested, don’t risk it.
Vicksburg Daily News (David Day)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Love This Mississippi Board Mount

Bobby Trehern of Long Beach, Mississippi had his buck mounted by Dubuisson Taxidermist recently.  I really like this mount and what a great idea for your prized buck.  My congratulations on your buck harvested in Jasper County and your Mississippi board mount, Bobby.   

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Barbie Fishing Pole Catch!

Scott Dickson (Paw Paw) of Monticello, Mississippi took his grandbaby, Emerson, fishing recently when she reeled in this large catfish with her Barbie fishing pole. I know a lot of "grown" fisherman/women would be proud of that fish!  My congratulations to Emerson in our great wild and wonderful Mississippi outdoors!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Great Grandma's Biggest Fish

Over the weekend, Connor Bryant took his Great Grandma (Ruth) fishing and said she had the time of her life and she caught the biggest fish (Bass) of her life!  She's in her late 80's and still giving them hell, he said.  It's wonderful that he takes her fishing.  My hat is off to Connor and congratulations to her in our wild and wonderful Mississippi outdoors.  I bet she knows how to fry it up just right too!  

Friday, June 07, 2019

Friendly Wild Urban Fox Comes To Be Fed

My friendly vixen comes to be fed one evening in June.  Filmed on a GoPro Hero 5 camera. 

(Published Jul 24, 2018, by Steve Downer)

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Cleaned Up, Fed & Tucked Away For The Day!

My Facebook friend, Mike Persichini said when he saw this fawn - - - his heart just melted.  All cleaned up, fed and tucked away for the day!  Thanks, Mike for taking such great pictures of wildlife in our wonderful outdoors and sharing them with us to enjoy.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Tree Stand Fall Turkey Entertainment

Nothing like yelping up a group of fall birds for entertainment! Listen to this young flock gobble at me and each other. Great stuff! Shows how much turkeys (jakes and jennies) actually gobble in the fall.

Chris Walls
Published on January 26, 2009

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Vicksburg Farmers' Market Downtown Last Saturday!

Saturday morning I headed to town to get some fresh red and green tomatoes, fig jam, blackberries, and some focaccia bread.  This was my first time to go to the Vicksburg's Farmers' Market this year and enjoyed running into people I knew and just looking around.  There was also music for entertainment as well.  I had to park on the hill because they had Washington Street blocked off for the market.  I took this picture before I got out of my truck.  The Yazoo Diversion Canal is in the background.  I'm looking forward to enjoying all my goodies.

Monday, June 03, 2019

American Queen Back In Town Last Friday

I took this picture while coming down Jackson Street last Friday afternoon of the riverboat "American Queen" that was moored all day for passengers to tour our historic civil war town of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Here are a few pictures of the Queen before her departure at 5:00 northbound to Greenville, MS.

This picture was taken at the floodwall of the American Queen while her passengers were getting back on board after touring our town.

Took this picture from behind and you can see a couple of train cabooses, The Old Depot Museum and the hills of Vicksburg.  To the far left is part of the landlocked M/V Mississippi IV & Museum.  

Looking behind the floodwall the Yazoo Diversion Canal is on the rise again from the Mississippi River.

Another picture of the passengers/tourist boarding the riverboat.

Two of four buses that take the passengers/tourist around to historic sites of Vicksburg.

Staff getting ready to leave taking up signs and a walking ramp that goes across the railroad tracks for the passengers.

After they untied all the ropes they will be ready to depart.

I took this picture from the Vicksburg Riverfront Park thinking the American Queen was going southbound but was going northbound to Greenville, MS.  I have an app called FINDSHIP and did not look at it the night before to see which way she was coming in.

    River stage at 6:00 p.m. 49.24 feet.  Flood stage is 43 feet.
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