Monday, February 24, 2014

Episode 202 (2-24-14): "Cripple Creek"--On Banjo by Stewart Scales and On Virginia's Water-quality Agenda

Click to listen to episode (3:03)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 24, 2014.

This week, we feature a popular traditional tune whose name may come from a southwestern Virginia stream.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds.


MUSIC.


You’ve been listening to part of “Cripple Creek,” in a banjo version by Stewart Scales, a native of Wise County, Virginia.  Since the early 1900s, many versions of this tune have been recorded, and countless other versions played at festivals and at informal gatherings.  The origin of the tune is subject to debate, but the source may have been Virginia’s Cripple Creek, a New River tributary that flows through Wythe County, with headwaters in Smyth and Grayson counties.  “Goin’ up Cripple Creek to have some fun” is a line commonly sung to this old-time tune; but for the past several years, Virginia water scientists have been going up and down Cripple Creek to study the problem of bacteria that exceed water-quality standards.  While most Virginia streams aren’t connected to a historic tune, many share with Cripple Creek this modern problem of water-quality impairments that require an in-depth study and improvement plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for this week’s music, and let’s end with about 15 more seconds of Mr. Scales’ fine banjo goin’ up and down along “Cripple Creek.”


MUSIC.


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


SHOW NOTES
 

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 2/24/14]

Goin’ up Cripple Creek: February 22, 2014, view looking upstream near the creek’s confluence with the New River in Wythe County, Virginia.

Goin’ down Cripple Creek: July 22, 2013, view looking downstream between Cedar Springs and Speedwell in Wythe County, Virginia.  Photo courtesy of Patrick Lizon, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Cripple Creek watershed in Grayson, Smyth, and Wythe counties in Virginia, with colors showing impaired, segments of the watershed, that is, segments that do not meet water-quality standards.  From Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Development for Cripple Creek,” October 2009, page 27.


Acknowledgments: This week’s music was recorded for Virginia Water Radio on February 11, 2014, by Stewart Scales; used with permission.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

Sources:

Information on the tune “Cripple Creek” was taken from “The Traditional Tune Archive,” formerly known as “The Fiddler’s Companion,” by Andrew Kuntz and Valerio Pelliccioni, online at http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/TTA.  The “Cripple Creek” entry is at http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Cripple_Creek.


Information on Virginia’s Cripple Creek, including the map above, was taken from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality report, “Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Development for Cripple Creek,” October 2009, accessed online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/portals/0/DEQ/Water/TMDL/apptmdls/newrvr/crippleec.pdf; and from the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice about the February 11, 2014, meeting on the TMDL Improvement Plan for Cripple Creek, online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/Viewmeeting.cfm?meetingid=21141.


Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Episode 201 (2-17-14): Abraham Lincoln and the James River


Click to listen to episode (2:56)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 17, 2014.

This week, in honor of Presidents Day, we look back on Abraham Lincoln's trip to the James River and Richmond, Virginia, in the final weeks of the Civil War.  Have a listen for about 25 seconds to some scene-setting sounds and music.

SOUNDS AND MUSIC


Founded in 1737 at the Fall Line on the James River, Richmond in 1861 replaced Montgomery, Alabama, as the capital of the Confederacy.  This, of course, made Richmond a prime objective of the Union Army.  As our musical excerpt notes, that was a hard objective to accomplish.  The James River played a large role both in Union advances toward the city and Confederate defenses of it.  By the spring of 1865, Union successes allowed President Lincoln to travel to General Ulysses Grant’s headquarters at City Point, now the city of Hopewell, where the Appomattox River flows into the James.  During the president’s stay from March 24 to April 8, the Union took Petersburg, leading the Confederates to evacuate Richmond, accompanied by fires and explosions set to keep materials out of Union hands.  On April 4, Lincoln traveled up the James to visit the evacuated city.   As Lincoln came ashore he encountered several former slaves who gathered around to praise him.  According to the Lincoln Institute, after Lincoln assured the group that no one would return them to slavery, one man used the following water metaphor to explain their reaction to Lincoln: “...after being so many years in the desert without water, it's mighty pleasant to be lookin' at last on our spring of life.”  Thanks to Bobby Horton for permission to use part of his recording of “Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel.”

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 2/17/14]


Happy Presidents Day 2014 from Virginia Water Radio!  (Photo by Joey Mignone.)
Part of the Richmond, Va., skyline, as seen viewed from the James River downstream of the city, June 2007.


Acknowledgments
The sound of the James River was recorded February 17, 2014, at Brown’s Island in Richmond.  The island was the site of a Confederate ammunition factory during the Civil War.  Thanks to Michael Martz for providing this recording.

This week’s music was from “Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel,” performed by Bobby Horton on the 1988 album “Homespun Songs of the C.S.A., Vol. 4,” used with permission.  More information about Mr. Horton is available online at http://bobbyhorton.com/.

The cannon shot was made by the crew of one of the replica James River cargo boats, called batteau, participating in the annual James River Batteau Festival on June 15, 2013, in Lynchburg.  (For more from the 2013 Batteau Festival, please see Virginia Water Radio Episode 166, 6-17-13.)

Sources
Chicago Tirbune
, 12/6/109, “Lincoln's Last Trip,” by Patrick T. Reardon.

CivilWarTraveler.com, “Lincoln Visits Richmond” (podcast and map), online at http://civilwartraveler.com/audio/podcasts.html.

“City Point During the Civil War,” online at http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/City_Point_During_the_Civil_War; “The James River During the Civil War,” online at http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/James_River_During_the_Civil_War; and “Richmond During the Civil War,” online at http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Richmond_During_the_Civil_War; all by Encyclopedia Virginia, from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Library of Virginia, home page at http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/.

“James River,” 1 min./44 sec. video online at http://www.walkinlincolnsfinalfootsteps.com/video/grant-3/.  This and other videos are part of “Walk in Lincoln’s Final Footsteps,” a joint project by the following Virginia localities: Chesterfield County, the City of Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie County, the City of Hopewell, the City of Petersburg, and Prince George County; home page at http://www.walkinlincolnsfinalfootsteps.com/.

The Lincoln Institute, “Civil War/Entering Richmond,” online at
http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/inside.asp?ID=84&subjectID=3.  This article is part of the Lincoln Institute’s project, “Mr. Lincoln and Freedom,” online at http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/.

National Park Service/Richmond National Battlefield, “Lincoln’s Visit to Richmond,” online at http://www.nps.gov/rich/historyculture/lincvisit.htm.

National Park Service/Petersburg National Battlefield, “President Lincoln Visits City Point and Petersburg—March 24-April 8, 1865,” online at http://www.nps.gov/pete/parknews/upload/Lincoln-at-Pete-and-CPrev2.pdf.

New York Times
front page, April 5, 1865, available online at http://www.nytimes.com/1865/04/08/news/richmond-visit-president-lincoln-richmond-his-interview-with-prominent-citizens.html.

Related Episodes of Virginia Water Radio

Three previous episodes--also featuring music by Bobby Horton--on rivers in the American Civil War and the American Revolutionary War are the following:
Episode 164 (Week of 6-13-13): “Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel” by Bobby Horton
;

Episode 103 (Week of 3-19-12): History on the York River—“The Surrender of Cornwallis” by Bobby Horton
; and

Episode 101 (Week of 3-5-12): “All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight” by Bobby Horton
.

A previous episode for Presidents Day is Episode 149 (Week of 2-18-13): George Washington, Walter Johnson, and the Rappahannock River.



Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Episode 200 (2-10-14): "River Runs Dry," by Kat Mills

Click to listen to episode (3:14)

TRANSCRIPT


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 10, 2014.

This week, we feature a song from a Blacksburg, Va., musician, comparing the flow of water to the flow of ideas and creativity.  Have a listen for about a minute.

MUSIC.


You’ve been listening to part of “River Runs Dry,” by Kat Mills, accompanied by Rachel Handman, on the 2003 CD “Long Time,” from Sweetcut Music.  According to Ms. Mills, the river in the song symbolizes the inspirations and sources of creativity on which this musician depends in her life and work.  But the song’s questions about what to do if the river or well goes dry also bring to mind the challenges of sustaining sources of actual water.  Such challenges are clear from current events, like this month’s coal-ash spill in the Dan River; last month’s chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia; and ongoing drought in California and other western states.  Thanks to Kat Mills for permission to use this week’s music, and for some inspiration for the big job of water, let’s end with another little sip of Ms. Mills’ and Ms. Handman’s creativity.


MUSIC (about 15 seconds)
.


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


SHOW NOTES

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 2/10/14]


A low-flowing St. Mary’s River, Augusta County, Va., July 30, 2011.  At the time, that area was rated as being “abnormally dry” by the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Acknowledgments: “River Runs Dry” and “Long Time” are copyright by Kat Mills and Sweetcut Music, used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at http://www.sweetcut.com/kat/ and at https://www.facebook.com/katmillsmusic.

The accompaniment on “River Runs Dry” is by Rachel Handman, a violinist based in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.  More information on Ms. Handman is available online at the Web site of the Ridgefield [Conn.] Symphony Orchestra, http://www.ridgefieldsymphony.org/musicians/.


Sources:
Some starting points for information on the current water-resources events mentioned in this episode are the following:
Dan River coal-ash spill
, February 2014: Virginia Water Central News Grouper, About 82,000 Tons of Coal Ash Spilled into Dan River after Pipe Break at Duke Energy Ash-storage Basin in Eden, N.C.; News Accounts Through Feb. 10, 2014, posted 2/10/14.


West Virginia chemical spill
, January 2014: Virginia Water Central News Grouper, West Virginia Chemical Spill on Jan. 9, 2014—Information Sources, posted 1/10/14.


Drought in California and other western states
: U.S. Drought Monitor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.


Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Episode 199 (2-3-14): Snow and Ice Follow Physics and Chemistry

Click to listen to episode (3:00)

TRANSCRIPT


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 3, 2014.

This week, we feature more mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds, and see if you can guess two basic sciences that are hard at work when winter turns the landscape white.

SOUND.

If you guessed physics and chemistry, you’re right!  You’ve been listening to a snow shovel, salt pellets, and NOAA Weather Radio comments on January 29, 2014, about melting, blowing, and refreezing potential after an Appalachian snowfall.  The impacts of a snowfall—on transportation, recreation, and water supplies—depend on weather conditions interacting with physical and chemical properties of water and of surfaces and substances in contact with the snow.  Key properties include the melting point of water with and without dissolved substances, such as salts; the ability of ice crystals to form various shapes, affecting the how much water any given snow contains; and the capacities of different colors and substances to absorb or reflect light.  These factors affect how energy from sunlight or air is absorbed and transmitted by snow and by adjacent substances and surfaces.  Energy interactions, in turn, determine key snow impacts, like how fast the snow will melt, how much water will result from that melting, and whether that water will evaporate or refreeze.  Water physics and chemistry can be complicated, but their effects are as basic and practical as choosing the best time to shovel the walk.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
 
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 2/3/14]



A sun-exposed sidewalk after snow-shoveling in Blacksburg, Va., at 8:30 a.m., January 29, 2014.
Sunlight flecks on a snow-covered sidewalk in Blacksburg, Va., at 9 a.m., January 29, 2014.


Acknowledgments: The National Weather Service (NWS) comments on snow-melting potential on January 29, 2014, were recorded by Virginia Water Radio from the broadcast that morning by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio, WXL 60 from the NWS’ Blacksburg, Va., Forecast Office (information is available online at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/rnk/NWR.html).  Thanks to Kevin McGuire, Virginia Water Resources Research Center, for providing advice and information for this episode.

Sources and more information: Information on snow physics and chemistry was taken from the following sources:
*Field Guide to Snowflakes, by Ken Libbrecht (Voyageur Press, St. Paul, Minn., 2006);

*The Chemistry of Everything, by Kimberley Waldron (Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2007); see p. 266 for “Why is Salt Used to Melt Ice on Wintry Roads?”

*The Snow Booklet: A Guide to the Science, Climatology, and Measurement of Snow in the United States, by Nolan J. Doesken and Arthur Judson (Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science, Fort Collins, Colo., 1997); and

*Winter: An Ecological Handbook, by James C. Halfpenny and Roy Douglas Ozanne (Johnson Publishing Company, Boulder, Colo., 1989).

Information on the SNOTEL (“snow telemetry”) data system of measuring snow pack and its water equivalent in the western United States is available from the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), online at http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/.


Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.