HERE AT PINE POINT ON THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI, the river is less mighty than usual, as the draw-down continues. Implemented to cleanse the riverbed, and primarily the Little Rock Lake flowage, of pollutants and nutrients that have built up for decades due to farm and septic run-off, it is an exercise in letting the river be a river once more. In the ‘old days’ before the dams (Sartell dam, 1907) the river was smaller and shallower,and during late summer months certainly had occasional low water periods. So we are seeing and experiencing the river more as it once was. Tens of thousands of plants have been planted to help suck up and transpire the nitrates and pollutants, and we are told the beneficial effects will last for years. An added benefit, here in the ‘new’ mud flats along our shore, the shorebirds—Lesser Yellowlegs and Spotted Sandpipers—are having a field day, and we get to watch them. The Yellowlegs run around on their stilt-like legs, and the Sandpipers bob up and down along the water’s edge, calling ‘twii-twii’ sweetly as they go, gathering up small invertebrates. It’s a bonanza!

Leave a Reply