Johnny Lee Clary on the KKK: "Wherever there are white people, they go and recruit," he said. "They go to areas wherever there are any types of racial problems, for instance, where there have been problems between Aborigines and white people."
I drive the highways and byways of the NT a lot – mostly for work. In the last few months I’ve driven long stretches up and down the Stuart Highway that runs three thousand and more often very lonely kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide.
Sometimes it is just a short run of 300 or so kilometres to Katherine, more often beyond into the vast open stretches of the Barkly Tablelands and the Gulf Country.
A few months ago I was cruising southbound out of Katherine one fine and too hot morning and something stuck on the side of a tree caught my eye. I’ll pull-up for all manner of road-kill and just about anything else of interest so I hit the brakes and did a u-turn.
Jun 22, 2013
Only in Texas. "We were trying to kill a snake with fire," the woman said during a 911 call. "It done caught the house."
Last month I travelled to Denton in north Texas to attend the annual Society of Ethnobiology meeting and present a paper on my recent early research into the (possible) role that birds may play in propagation of fire in the Australian landscape. While there I met up with a colleague from Manchaca, Texas who has recently forwarded to me a response she received from another colleague to whom she’d passed some information about my presentation and inviting his comment.
In due course he responded.
Jan 30, 2013
"The next challenge will be to reach the White River. A route will have to be scouted through the briars, snake-infested woods and alligator swamps. The explorers will then manually portage all of their gear and canoes from the Arkansas River to the White River, a process that might require one long dirty day."
In May 2010 I was lucky enough to spend five days on the Mississippi River with the folks from the Quapaw Canoe Company out of the small town of Helena in Arkansas and over the river at the Home of the Blues – Clarksdale Mississippi.
You can read my account of that trip – brief and incomplete as it is – in my Mud and Blood in the Mississippi in Flood post.
I’ve kept in touch with Captain John Ruskey and the Mighty Quapaw crew and in 2011 managed to get back on the river during another flood for a few brief hours at a very soggy Helena. If I’m lucky I may be able to get back there again when I’m next in the States for the Society of Ethnobiology meeting at Denton, Texas in May this year.
Jan 7, 2013
"The Big Muddy" follows centuries of human efforts to conceptualize this landscape of mud as a place with firm barriers between water and land, and then make these conceptions reality. A few examples: early French explorers repeatedly failed to locate the mouth of the Mississippi out of an inability to imagine a vast, multi-channeled delta. Rice, and then indigo, tobacco, and sugar encouraged settlers to drain, divide, and levee the landscape.
Regular readers here will know of my (somewhat distant) love affair with the Mississippi River and the cultures that live in, on and around it.
I’ve written about it here, here and here and have learnt much about the river from my colleagues Mark Bonta, who lives and works at the small town of Cleveland in the Delta and ‘Captain’ John Ruskey of the Quapaw Canoe Company out of Clarksdale Mississippi and across the river at Helena, Arkansas.
Books like the McDowell’s “Mississippi Secrets“, John M. Barry’s magisterial “Rising Tide“, James C. Cobb’s “The Most Southern Place on Earth” and Mikko Saikku’s environmental history of the Yazoo-Mississippi floodplain “This Delta, This Land” have all piqued my interest and ensured that I’ll return to spend more time with this most magnificent creature that is the river and all around it.
Aboriginal & Islander Art
May 30, 2010
[caption id="attachment_3346" align="aligncenter" width="581" caption="Chuurch in a Cadillac. Clarksdale, Mississippi"]
May 29, 2010
[caption id="attachment_3320" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Foggy Interstate 30 morning, east Texas"]
My previous posts have looked at various aspects of my most recent trip to Canada & the USA – here are a few incidental point and shoot photos from my wanders around various cities, towns, rivers, bayous and forests over the past month or so…
May 18, 2010
Yesterday I drove through Fate, Texas and had lunch in Hope, Arkansas - notable only for the fact that President Bill Clinton was born there. I doubt that he has had much reason to get back there in a while. Here are some quick shots of things I saw along the way...
Yesterday I drove from just east of Dallas along I-30 to Texarkana then through Arkansas, down into Louisiana, back up into Arkansas and then across the Mississippi into the small city of Cleveland in the Mississippi Delta where I’ll be based for the next week or so.
Tomorrow I’m off to paddle a big canoe down the wilds of the Mississippi River…
Apr 14, 2009
The Delta has a rich religious heritage, and is a land where faith- in God, in the future, in grace, and in ultimate redemption - unify all people. Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian Churches are commonly represented in Delta towns.
I spent quite a few hours of the last week or so driving around the backroads of the Mississippi Delta. The Delta is a leaf-shaped region in western Mississippi, bounded by the Mississippi River and Arkansas state border to the west, a line of bluffs to the east and runs from Vicksburg in southern Mississippi to just outside of Memphis in Tennessee to the north.