Ten miles upriver from the navigation lock, where the collective sediments were thought to be more firm, they dug into a piece of dry ground and built what appeared for a time to be an incongruous, waterless bridge. . Elsewhere, the deficiencies are averaging between one and two feet with respect to the computed high-water flow line, which goes on rising as runoffs continue to speed up and waters are increasingly confined. Bayou Lafourche, a major distributary, was dammed in 1904. Steamboats had had difficulty there in the colliding waters.
It has only strenghtened my belief that we put way too much faith in technological solutions to forces that humans cannot control. Up to 90% off Textbooks at Amazon Canada. That said, simply by writing these books McPhee expressed his own opinion on the apparent follies awaiting nature to take its course. But nature employs forces of its own and perhaps more importantly it is inexorable and has all the time in the world at its disposal. There is a brass footrail next to Old Bull and a padded bar above him, with beer tap, soda siphon, and a generous stock of bottles. But of course, like just about everything in life, when you start to find out more about the situation the easy response isn't so easy. The device that resembled a ten-pier bridge was technically a sill, or weir, and it was put on line in 1963, in an orchestrated sequence of events that flourished the art of civil engineering.
John McPhee captures the immutable power of the earth like none other. The Corps of Engineers would see to that. In three long essays, McPhee exposes our insane overconfidence and ridiculous hubris, all to serve the short-term. Far above Old River are places where the floodplain is more than a hundred miles wide. Where the delta began, at Old River, the water spread out even more—through a palimpsest of bayous and distributary streams in forested paludal basins—but this did not dissuade the French. The others continue to talk, argue.
A large eddy had formed. At the boat landing, Bourque sold the crawfish for three hundred and sixty. In time, people would come to suggest that there was about these enterprises an element of hauteur. Bayley is quick to answer—Fred Bayley, a handsome sandy-haired man in a regimental tie and a cool tan suit, with the contemplative manner of an academic and none of the defenses of a challenged engineer. What would make a channel deep enough for ships? Each of them is sixty-two feet wide. This is a story of debris basins and other human attempts to stop the mountains.
As sediments slide down the continental slope and the river is prevented from building a proper lobe—as the delta plain subsides and is not replenished—erosion eats into the coastal marshes, and quantities of Louisiana steadily disappear. The house stays where it is, on its slab and pilings. His travels take him to the Mississippi Delta, where engineers have manufactured an artificial flood control to maintain the Ole Man in its present course rather than what the river wants to do: take over the neighboring Atchafalaya channel, thereby forever bypassing the river commerce hubs of Baton Rogue and New Orleans. So what does it matter if your leg spends the night in the water. People arriving at New Orleans District Headquarters, U.
Now everything had changed and nothing had changed. In the Atchafalaya, the land comes and goes, but it comes more than it goes. The towboat enters the Atchafalaya at an unprepossessing T in a jungle of phreatophytic Trees. It just struck me as a somewhat lazy thing to do after putting together all the research on each of the individual bits. I went to see Sherwood Gagliano one day—an independent coastal geologist and regional planner who lives in Baton Rouge. The first was located with a schoolteacher and the second was with a farmer. The Control of Nature by John McPhee I will admit right off I am a fan of the writings of Mr.
Meanwhile, at 31 degrees north latitude about halfway between Vicksburg and Baton Rouge he made a bold move on the Mississippi. Now, in two thousand miles, the first place where water naturally escapes the Mississippi is at Bayou Baptiste Collette—sixty miles below New Orleans. This book is about people living in places where nature is in a state of constant change, and the extraordinary lengths they go to try to control the ultimately uncontrollable forces. In 1983 came the third-greatest flood of the twentieth century—a narrow but decisive victory for the Corps. A place where water broke through was known as a crevasse—a source of terror no less effective than a bursting dam—and the big ones were memorialized, like other great disasters, in a series of proper names: the Macarty Crevasse 1816 , the Sauvé Crevasse 1849.
The mid-American flagship of the U. This was most of the town. As the mouth advances southward and the river lengthens, the gradient declines, the current slows, and sediment builds up the bed. The first houses of New Orleans were built on the natural levees, overlooking the river. What folks did to divert lava involved spraying ocean water from high pressure hoses to cool and shape the flow.
The story about the islands off the coast of Iceland was also nice, McPhee gave a good description of the mentality of Icelanders. From the river you cannot see the country. Essays': atchafalaya john mcphee analysis essay. I never felt that his portrayals went beyond what one might find in newspaper reportage of the day. It shifted abruptly and flowed in that direction for about a thousand years. The only thing that interrupts it is Old River Control. Under the house, daylight appears.