The rains seem to last throughout the month of April in the Delta as the Mississippi River and its tributaries rise above their muddy banks, refilling the wetlands and estuaries needed during the breeding season for many amphibians and reptiles.
The cypress trees are submerged beneath their knees and great blue herons stealthily stalk the shallows eating small fish and invertebrates. Turtles crowd every log, while swarms of migrating birds stop their migration back north to feast on aerators of the saturated soil. Harmless water snakes are still lethargic as they leave winter dens. The cycle of life is in full throttle.
Today is a beautiful day.
The Mighty Quapaws attended Naturefest at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Mississippi April 6. Then we will be in Clarksdale, at the Mississippi Juke Joint Festival. Musicians and fans are already filling up the parks and river banks with tents. We are looking forward to listening to great music and signing up new River Citizens from all over the country.
With the help of two master carpenters, Seth from Boston and Josh from New York, we were able to construct the shell of a canoe in 12 days. Strong strips of cypress have been brought together to form the beautiful 30ft. canoe.
Sometimes I sit back and wonder, “How does John Ruskey know these people?” Through teamwork and the willingness to share knowledge, love, and passion with the next generation, the Quapaw’s have learned a skill of a lifetime.
It’s also no doubt that spring is an exciting time for the Mississippi River.
This year too our 1 Mississippi team is stronger than ever. This is our year. We are set to accomplish our goal of signing and creating a strong contingent of River Citizens to protect, preserve, and promise the health of our River is our priority and essential to future generations.
Quapaw Canoe Company, Mighty Quapaw Youth Leader
1 Mississippi Southern Region Intern