Close Window

LMRD 711: March Flood
Lower Mississippi River Dispatch ~ "Voice of the River"
Friday, March 8, 2019, Clarksdale, Miss

NOTE: Mississippi River Daytrip moved to Sunday Mar 10th, 1-6pm

Please note: Due to storms and rain tomorrow, we have moved on the Mississippi River Daytrip to Sunday March 10th, 1-6pm. This will be a community paddle through the flooded forests of the flooding Mississippi River from Helena, Arkansas. Meet at 107 Perry Street in Helena. Sunday's weather calls for mostly sunny, with a high near 62. North wind 5 to 10 mph. Done in partnership with the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. No previous experience necessary. Contact Shannon McMulkin for signup at or call 870-228-2421. Communiy daytrips to continue every month throughout the Spring 2019! More details below.

Upcoming events of note:


David Allen Sibley: The Art of Identification
University of Mississippi Museum
February 26–September 7, 2019
(see below for full description)

Northwest Mikssissippi Community College
Rhythm and Flow:
Musings on Mississippi’s Wetlands and Waterways
(see below more info)

Driftwood Johnnie: March Flood

We're experiencing an early flood this year. The Sunflower crested last week at 22.45 (Clarksdale gauge) the 2nd highest ever (?), and the 2nd 1,000 year flood in 3 years. Instead of "cat years" or "dog years" are we going to need to start counting off the years by a new measurement, "1,000 year flood years?" Meanwhile, the Mississippi crested yesterday (Thurs, Mar 7) in Helena at 49.5. The wave is slowly moving downstream, and will cause consternation for Natchez, Baton Rouge and New Orleans for weeks to come, at least 2 weeks at 17' in the Crescent City.


Tues, Mar 5, Sunflower 15’ and dropping, Mississippi 49.3 and rising, the South Delta flooded, gates closed and heavy rainfall still coming, only the Yazoo escapes the impoundment, lower Catfish Row houses standing in muddy water, isolated farms and barns made islands, some flooded, Hwy 465 underwater, waves lappingalong the edges of Hwy 61, all of the low fields full of water, all of the low fields in Warren County, Issaquena and Sharkey, Delta National Forest flooded, the soils refertilized and the aquifers recharged, but man only wants fertilizer when he is ready to apply it, and he doesn't want water in his fields only when he is ready for it, he doesn't seem to care if his lands runs dry and is rendered sterile…

Icy cold morning, in the 20s, Boreas blowing feathery figures into muddy puddles, the finest flourishes and feathery figures yet! Intricate diamond, triangle and rhomboid lattice work, long-armed elegant stars, and rounded blobs (from elevation changes as pools seep lower, no one but the cardinals and others out and about, one walker on the bridge, town went completely silent in the starry stillness last night, a profoundly reassuring quietness and peacefulness, the kind of calm that rejuvenates my soul and causes me to believe that everything will be alright…. My fingers keep freezing up, 3 times now I’ve been forced to do the underarm thaw-out, and now my left underarm is feeling the cold, layers of brittle white ice shelving off the dark muddy banks where the river is dropping… I am thinking about my family and flocks of cheerful friends filling the Gulf Coast beaches, this strange new life filled with endless wonder!

Northwest Mississippi Community College
Rhythm and Flow:
Musings on Mississippi’s Wetlands and Waterways

Rhythm and Flow is an exhibition of contemporary art that examines the natural beauty and environmental diversity of Mississippi’s wetlands and rivers. Juried by the professors of the NWCC Fine Arts department, this exhibition will explore Mississippi’s rivers, tributaries, and wetlands through the eyes of the regions talented artists. From the rhythms of the migratory flyway where an astounding number of bird species stop to rest seasonally, to its multifarious plant life, and the struggles of flooding, Mississippi’s waterways offer a myriad of opportunities for expressive and expansive works. Selection will be based on a fresh approach to the subject matter, skill, and creativity.

• Artists working in all media and styles are encouraged to apply.
• This invitational is open to all artists over the age of 18 years.
• All subject matter must be related to the theme of Mississippi wetlands and rivers. It is the sole discretion of the jury to determine which works are accepted into the exhibition. Artworks may explore themes of the river, its wildlife, landscapes or ecosystems in a representational or abstract manner.
Artists should send up to three digital images and a short artist statement to deadline for submissions is August 5th. Please include in your email: Name, Telephone Number, Title of Art- work, Medium, and Date of Completion.

If you are accepted into the invitational you must deliver your artwork to the NWCC Art Department gallery Senatobia campus on (or before) September 1st between 9 AM and 3:30 PM. Artworks will not be accepted after 3:30 PM on September 1st. All 2-dimensional works must be framed and ready to hang. It is also the artist’s responsibility to pick up their artworks (or make other arrangements for timely pickup) on September 30th between 9 AM – 2:30 PM.

The NWCC Art Department does not assume any risk for the works of art put on exhibition as part of this invitational. By submitting your work for this exhibit, you agree to these stipulations.

Dana Finimore

David Allen Sibley: The Art of Identification
University of Mississippi Museum
February 26–September 7, 2019

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 28, 2019, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Meet the Artist and Gallery Walkthrough: Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 7-9:00 p.m.
Understanding Birds through Drawing: Thursday, April 4, 2019, 5:30 p.m.

The Art of Identification, a collection of watercolors by celebrated bird illustrator, ornithologist, and author David Allen Sibley, is on view at the University of Mississippi Museum beginning February 26.

The exhibit will display 25 original paintings from the Sibley Guides to Birds and Trees, as well as a few earlier works from the illustrator.

“Mr. Sibley exhibits in museums very infrequently, so this is a particularly great opportunity for Oxford and [the University],” said Robert Saarnio, director of the University of Mississippi Museum. “There is an appeal of partnering with such a wide range of organizations and we saw immediately the possibility of other related elements in the Permanent Collection supporting this show, such as recently-gifted, but not yet displayed, Audubon prints, and our Boehm ceramic birds collection.”

The UM Museum will host an opening reception on Thursday, February 28 at 5:30pm to celebrate the exhibit, which is on view until September 7, 2019. Sibley will visit the museum in April for several appearances and events, including a gallery walkthrough on April 2, a step-by-step demonstration on April 4, as well as to meet with students and local birding groups in the area. A full schedule of events can be found under the events tab.

“For me drawing is a tool, a method of study. It helps me to really dig in and develop an understanding of the things I am drawing, and the simple act of sketching has led to all kinds of discoveries,” Sibley said.

“Ultimately, I think the reward of studying nature is the chance to feel like a part of something bigger: to understand the patterns and rhythms of the natural world, to know what part each bird or tree is playing, and to see our own lives in that context.”

Sibley has authored and illustrated a series of guides for bird watchers and enthusiasts, which includes five volumes birds and one on trees. The Sibley Guides began publication in 2000 and have become one of the most accomplished guides for ornithological field identification in North America.
“I hope that sharing my illustrations through my books and through this exhibit acts as an introduction to the birds and trees that share our neighborhoods, allowing everyone to appreciate their place in the wider natural world,” Sibley added.

Local and regional bird and conservation organizations, including the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, Miss., Delta Wind Birds, and the Mississippi Ornithological Society, are equally excited to share Sibley’s knowledge and illustrations with the Oxford community.

“One could say the depth of Audubon’s legacy is carried today by David Allen Sibley, whose detailed avian portraits are equally field guides and works of art,” said Mitch Robinson, Conservation Education Manager at SPAC.

“John James Audubon, the namesake of the National Audubon Society, was the first European to document, draw and bring to life the diverse abundance of avian life in North America, inspiring awe and wonder in naturalists and bird lovers alike for over two centuries,” he added.

Admission to the UM Museum, as well as to the opening reception, is free. The galleries are open every Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Be among the first to know about upcoming events, exhibits, and workshops by becoming a member and supporting the mission of Mississippi’s largest academic museum.

The UM Museum is located at the intersection of 5th Street and University Avenue.

For more information, call 662-915-7073 or email

David Allen Sibley: link to the exhibit information on our webpage:

Communities that Canoe Together:

Big Canoes on Sunflower River (John Ruskey)

Once you go paddling on the Mississippi you are part of a pretty special club. A club that knows how magical the river is and how much it needs protection. We need more people in the club! That's why we're hosting community canoe trips in Helena and Clarksdale every month. If you've never been out on the river before this is the perfect opportunity to test it out. If you've been before, come back and bring a friend! Discounts available for local youth and educators.

Sat, Mar 9
Community Half-Daytrip - Mississippi River
(Meet at 107 Perry in Helena)

Sat, April 13
Community Half-Daytrip - Sunflower River, 9am-1pm
(Meet at 289 Sunflower in Clarksdale)

Sat, May 11
Community Half-Daytrip - Mississippi River
(Meet at 107 Perry in Helena)

Sat, June 14
Community Half-Daytrip - Mississippi River
(Meet at 107 Perry in Helena)


Anyone is welcome! No experience or equipment necessary! Just meet us at our office in Helena or Clarksdale and join us for a morning canoe trip.

Trips will leave at 9 am and usually return by 1 pm. Bring a lunch and water bottle.

For trips on the Sunflower, you can also bring your own boat and paddle along with us!

50% discount for local educators!

For reservations or more information, contact:

Shannon McMulkin



Sunday, March 10, 2019

1:00 - 6:00 PM

Meet at 107 Perry Street in Helena, AR

This will be a will be a community paddle through the flooded forests of the flooding Mississippi River from Helena, Arkansas!

$25 for adults

$5 for youth under 18

Call 870-228-2421 or email to register

Quapaw Canoe Company
Calendar, Spring 2019
February 2019

Sat, Feb 9
Community Half-Daytrip - Sunflower River, 9am-1pm

Sun Feb 10 - Mon Feb 11
"The Mighty Mississippi: A Mosaic of America's Growth"
Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock
(Live Dugout Canoe Carving Demonstration)

Sat, Feb 16
LMRF General Annual Membership Meeting
Helena Outpost, 107 Perry St, Helena
12noon - 1pm, Cleanup in Helena Harbor to follow, 2-3pm

March 2019

Sat, Mar 9
Community Half-Daytrip - Mississippi River

Mon Mar 25 - Sat Mar 30
Pearl River Expedition — Naturalist’s Retreat in Voyageur Canoe

April 2019

April 11-14
Juke Joint Festival 2019
Camping,Carving, Booksignings, Canoeing Sunflower River
And much, much more!

Sat, April 13
Community Half-Daytrip - Sunflower River, 9am-1pm

April 18 - May 18
Water, Water: A Pop Up Invitational
Walter Anderson Museum of Art

Mon April 22 - Sat 27
Horn Island Expedition — Artist’s Retreat in Voyageur Canoe

May 2019
Sat, May 11
Community Half-Daytrip - Mississippi River

Mon May 20 - Sat May 25
Pascagoula River Expedition — Naturalist’s Retreat in Voyageur Canoe

June 2019

June 3rd-7th
LMRF Summer Camp
for Mississippi and Arkansas youth!

Sat, June 14
Community Half-Daytrip - Mississippi River

June 15
Buck Island Adventure
Experience the East Arkansas Mississippi River Canoe Float
9am-5pm from Helena, Ar.
In partnership with the Mississippi River State Park

Our Dream for Quapaw Canoe Company in 2019:

"To share the raw, wild, power & beauty of the big river
with patience, balance and compassion
for our clients
for the river
for all its creatures
and for our mother earth"


The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch "Voice of the Lower Mississippi River" is published by the Quapaw Canoe Company. Photos and writing by John Ruskey, Mark River and others. Please write for re-publishing. Feel free to share with friends or family, but also credit appropriately. Go to www.island63.comand click on "Quapaw Dispatch" for viewing back issues of the LMRD.


Unsubscribe: If you feel you have received this newsletter in error, or no longer wish to receive, please go to bottom of page and hit "Click to Unsubscribe"


The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of

The Quapaw Canoe Company


Our Projects:

Rivergator: 1Million words describing the Lower Mississippi River, overseen by the LMRF:

Wild Miles: 71% of the Lower Miss is wild according to river rats. Will it stay that way?

Our Friends:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation is dedicated to promoting stewardship of the Lower and Middle Mississippi River through deep engagement.

Big Muddy Adventures: adventures on the Missouri, Mississippi, Meramec and Illinois -- covering the Grand Central Station of America's rivers from home base St. Louis.

Our Range: