Category Archives: River

One of its most exotic regions, the subtropical forests, rivers, and savannas

Bartram Trail wrote about the effect of William Bartram’s Travels on the English Romantics:

Moreover, Bartram was describing not merely the New World, but one of its most exotic regions, the subtropical forests, rivers, and savannas that were so unlike the tame English countryside, even in the Lake district. Bartram’s America was inhabited by tribes of Indians, whom the English writers saw as “natural men,” the survivors of an ancient civilization, now lying in mysterious ruins, which also suggested many poetical and imaginative associations.

Coleridge read Bartram’s Travels carefully, wrote thoughts and extracts from them in his notebooks, and later withdrew images and stories for his poems. Bartram’s influence is quite evident in several major works of the period: This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, Osorio, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christobel, Frost at Midnight, Lewti and Kubla Khan.(116) Perhaps most strikingly, Coleridge later used Bartram in The Biographia Literaria to describe the poetic imagination. A passage in the Travels describes the stratified relationship between rocks, clay, soil, and the trees growing at the surface; to Coleridge, this seemed “a sort of allegory, or connected simile and metaphor of Wordsworth’s intellect and genius.”(117)

Wordsworth was also

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Withlacoochee River with water

The Withlacoochee River channel was full yesterday at the GA 122 bridge, near Hambrick Road, with reference Yellow Dog:

Full channel

Compare to 21 March 2012 (on the left):

21 March 2012 Compare to March

I wasn’t standing in quite the same place yesterday, because I would have been standing in water. But you can see the water is much higher than it was six months ago.

Here are a few more pictures and a video.


Rayonier, Altamaha, Georgia, 2012-09-08

It smelled as bad as it looked:

Smelled as bad as it looked

Picture by John S. Quarterman for Okra Paradise Farms, Lowndes County, Georgia, 7 September 2012.

This is the notorious Rayonier paper mill near Jesup, Georgia, that Georgia Water Coalition ranked on its Dirty Dozen, 2011’s worst offenses against Georgia’s Water, as #2, Altamaha River: Rayonier Pulp Mill Discharge Destroys Fisheries. That report got a reaction from Rayonier, according to Mike Morrison in 8 November 2011, Rayonier acknowledges waste issues,

The head of Rayonier acknowledged Monday that there are problems with the water it discharges into the Altamaha River at its paper mill near Jesup but said the company is ahead of schedule on cleaning it up.

The Georgia Water Coalition on Saturday ranked a stretch of river in the vicinity of the mill second on its “Dirty Dozen,” a list of the state’s most polluted or otherwise damaged rivers, streams, wetlands and marshes.

“We are very committed to the water quality of the Altamaha River,” Rayonier Chairman and CEO Lee Thomas said. “It’s important to us, just as it is important to the people of southeast Georgia. We’re working hard to improve the discharge.”

Rayonier’s pollution remains famous in song and story, such as in this YouTube video.

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John Quarterman on the Withlachoochee (audio)

Back at the end of March at a river conference in Roswell, Georgia, I was interviewed for a podcast. Here’s the audio, and here’s the blurb they included:

John Quarterman on the Withlachoochee
Monday, July 9th, 2012

John S. Quarterman was born and raised in Lowndes County, where he married his wife Gretchen. They live on the same land where he grew up, and participate in local community and government.

NPS talks with Quarterman and his observations on starting and strengthening a Withlachoochee Riverkeeper organization at Georgia River Network‘s 2012 Weekend for Rivers.

The water organization has since been incorporated as the Georgia non-profit WWALS Watershed Coalition:

WWALS is an advocacy organization working for watershed conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.


PS: They also recorded another podcast which starts out on what may sound like a completely different topic, but which is actually quite related.

Chalcedony from the Withlacoochee River in Lowndes County

Who knew one of our local rivers was famous for pretty shiny rocks?

Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau wrote, apparently in 2012, Withlacoochee River Lowndes County, Georgia, USA
List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification
Group 4 – Oxides and Hydroxides Quartz var: Chalcedony 4.DA.05 SiO2


Troubled youth heal by healing troubled watersheds

We already knew nature makes healthy. Here’s a group helping nature help troubled youth make nature healthy.

From the website of Youth and Ecological Restoration Program:

Planting native trees and shrubs in local watersheds provides habitat and protection for fish, birds and many other species.

Stephen Hume wrote for the Vancouver Sun yesterday, Healing power of troubled waters: An ecological program that links at-risk teens with damaged watersheds has breathed new life into both,

After Carnation Creek, Wendy applied and was accepted at university as a mature student, successfully studying ecology and land reclamation, presenting her own scientific papers. Then, eight years ago, she began putting her wisdom to work teaching the next generation to pay attention to the consequences of heedlessness, greed and ignorance about our dependence on the natural world.

Her innovative Youth and Ecological Restoration Program helps teenagers at risk. Some struggle with

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WWALS Organizational meeting #3, IHOP, Adel, GA, 25 April 2012

Third organizational meeting of WWALS (we’re still working on the pronunciation).

Formation of a Non-Profit Advocacy Organization working to protect water quality of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.

Nola Jackson Gentry, Garry Gentry, John S. Quarterman (the heap of stuff), Nathan Wilkins, Heather Evans, Carolyn Chapeau Selby, Gretchen Quarterman, Bret Wagenhorst
Pictures by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS, Adel, Cook County, Georgia, 25 April 2012.

WWALS facebook group.


Groundwater levels: red

In case anybody thinks the recent rains have done away with the drought in Georgia, take a look at this USGS map of groundwater levels today:

USGS Active Groundwater Network map 18 April 2012
Legend for USGS Active Groundwater Network map 18 April 2012

South Georgia, all red and orange. Here’s more detail.

It’s also worth remembering that while our Floridan Aquifer does recharge somewhat, that much of its water has been there since the last ice age. So if we keep mining water at a rapid rate, the aquifer will keep falling.


“A-lap-a-WHAT?” by Diane Shearer @ Weekend for Rivers by Georgia River Network 31 March 2012

At Georgia River Network’s Weekend for Rivers, 31 March 2012, Diane Shearer presented “A-lap-a-WHAT?” About, you guessed it, the Alapaha River. She grew up in Alapaha, Georgia, and recently returned to find the source of its eponymous river and to trace its path.

Here’s a slideshow of my pictures of her presenting her pictures. I think she’s going to post her slides somewhere soon.

Pictures by John S. Quarterman.

According to her conference bio:

Diane is a retired public school teacher and writer. She is a member of Atlanta Audubon, Georgia Ornithological Society, Georgia Sierra Club’s Smart Energy Committee, and serves on the board of directors for the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island. Her first attempt at expressing her love for the Alapha River was a column she wrote for Facing South in the early 1980’s called “In Praise of Rivers.”

Here’s a map of the Alapaha River watershed in green (blue is the Little River Watershed, wrapped inside the cyan Withlacoochee River watershed).

The Alapaha River is 190 miles long. It rises in southeastern Dooly County, Georgia and flows generally southeast along and through Crisp, Wilcox, Turner, Ben Hill, Irwin, Tift, Berrien, Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes and Echols Counties in Georgia and Hamilton County in Florida. Along its course it passes the towns of Alapaha, Willacoochee and Statenville. The river flows into the Suwannee about 10 miles southwest of Jasper, Florida.

U.S. EPA has a bit more about the Alapaha.

There’s a Withlacoochee Riverkeeper forming about the watersheds of the Alapaha, Willacoochee, Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapahoochee Rivers. If you’re interested, ask to join the facebook group or contact me, river at