Volume 1 - November 12, 2003

On the Move!

The marsh mission houseboat is on the move!  CC and I picked her up in Louisville, Kentucky and christened her the Wetland Wanderer.  Look on a map of the United States and find Louisville.  We drove a truck from Baton Rouge to Louisville, which is around 700 miles.  If we drove 60 miles per hour, how many hours did it take us?  There is math in every project!

We will navigate the Wetland Wanderer on a 1000 miles journey to South Louisiana!  This boat is fabulous!  It is a brand new, high tech houseboat that is 48 feet long and has lots of awesome equipment.   Rhea, Annie and I were afraid we would be stuck on an old barge style houseboat but CC found the J.T. Crewzer.  You can visit our boat at  After you get to the site click on “Crewzer” and you will see the exterior and interior of the boat.  You will definitely want to come aboard – mosquitoes or not!  The Crewzer will be our comfortable home for the next year as we live in the marshes of Louisiana. 

Look at the map again and see what river runs by Louisville.  RIGHT!  It is the Ohio River.  The Ohio River is a tributary of a mighty river that flows through the heartland of America.  I am sure you know this mighty river that will bring CC and me to Louisiana.  It flows from its source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico.  The river is 2,340 miles long and it drains the water from two-thirds of the United States!  What is it?  The great Mississippi is the river we will travel to get the Wetland Wanderer home to Louisiana.  
This huge waterway carries water and sediment from 31 states and two Canadian provinces.  As this mighty torrent of water and sediment flows through Louisiana, it looks for the easiest and fastest route to the Gulf of Mexico.  When this swiftly flowing river reaches the stationary waters of the Gulf, it is as if it hits a giant wall of water.  This impact causes much of the sediment to stop and the deposited materials build up new land we call deltas.  The coastal land that we will study together over the next months was created by the changing course of the mighty Mississippi River.  
Seven times the course has changed over 7000 years!  Our beautiful Louisiana wetlands were created by the meandering Mississippi.

Work hard in school this week!
Mrs. Sue

Barking at a GBH!

I belong to CC and Sue and I have a very adventurous life!  I am riding on a houseboat called the Wetland Wanderer and I have seen some strange sights.

Today I saw a bird on stilts…CC said it was a “GBH” and he told me he had seen this funny bird on every part of the Mississippi River.  Sue says “GBH” stands for great blue heron.  This bird stands about 4 feet tall and has a sharp pointed bill.  The sharp bill stabs fish and frogs in the water and then the GBH tosses its prey up in the air and devours it.  The great blue heron has a bluish body with a black cap on its head and a yellow bill and its wingspan can grow to be 6 feet long!

I barked and the big bird flew away with his long neck pulled into his body in an “s” shape and his long legs stretched out like an Olympic swimmer.  What a cool bird!

I will be on the lookout for more critters I can report on.  Until then, your “mutt” of the marsh is signing off.   Arf!

- The Mississippi River drains two-thirds of the continental United States.
- The sediment deposited at the Mississippi's mouth created the wetlands of south Louisiana.
Find the meanings of cool words like tributary, sediment, or amphibian and many more...
Click Here!
1. Describe a Great Blue Heron and sketch one in your journal.

2.Research Mississippi River facts and write a paragraph about the river

In 1997, CC took a raft down the Mississippi River, view his journal...
Click here to find sources of more great information!
la·gniappe    (ln-yp, lnyp)
2. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit

Get painting & photo tips and much more, click here!
St. James Episcopal Day School asks:
How long is the Mississippi River?
CC answers:  2,320 miles from Lake Itasca, MN to the tip of Southeast Pass in the Gulf of Mexico.
University Laboratory School asks:
What does a Great Blue Heron eat?
Sue answers:  Mostly small aquatic creatures such as fish, frogs, snakes, and baby alligators.
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