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Old 02-16-2020, 03:55 AM
 
5 posts, read 2,206 times
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Hi, can you please tell me which (rural) county/small town/village in Yazoo-Mississippi Delta area has full acces to Mississippi River? Can you swim in Mississippi, is it dangeorus? Are there alligators in that part of the river? Is river polluted?



I've never been in that area and I need those infos for the book I'm writing. I need small place with river access, fields of cotton and corn and farms nearby, and with beautiful nature. I want it to be in Delta bcs my hero is insanely poor and it somehow fits, unfortunately.



Any other info about living in Delta and near the Ol' Man's River are more than welcome.



Also, I would appreciate if someone could tell me what sort of trees, plants and animals are characteristic for that area. I've been searching the web but there are not much informations, I found relevant infos only for Washington County.


Thanx and sorry for probably bad English, not my native language.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:09 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
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Most people would not swim in the Mississippi, but that's because it is muddy and unattractive. There are places, though, where it is shallow and people swim for short periods of time.
Generally, it is safe. Alligators don't really prey on people and do not ambush them the way a crocodile will.


The river is always filled with natural debris like mud, limbs and even trees, but generally it is not considered overly polluted. You would not want to drink the water. The size of the river is hard to imagine and hard to explain to someone who has never seen it.



A high embankment, called a levy, separates and protects most towns from the river. The levy varies in appearance and height; sometimes there is a road on top, sometimes not. And some towns, like Vicksburg, Memphis, and Natchez have a natural cliff that protects them from flooding.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:39 PM
 
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the only people that have tried to swim in the river are the ones that have a death wish.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:34 PM
 
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the river is generally a mile wide or more, with whirlpools that will suck you down. so no you don't go swimming out in the main part of it. but because it has so many bends and sand bars there are often areas where people will go swim that are out of the main current. even at "low" water stages the current is to strong for all but extreme swimmers in the main channel.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:24 AM
 
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Ok, so no swimming in the river!


Thank you all so very much!


If somebody knows more about plant/animal life in Delta, I would be very grateful!


Like, which fish can be found there, are there snakes by or in the river, coyotes in the woods, white-tailed deer, raccoons, beavers, skunks, opossums? Maybe black bear?


Do people drink their sweet southern ice there?


Are there live oaks? Which sorts of pine and oak are most common?


Do black and white people there stay away from each other?


I'm sorry for so many questions and thanks once again for all of your kind answers, you've been very helpful.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:47 AM
 
950 posts, read 956,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixie1207 View Post
Ok, so no swimming in the river!


Thank you all so very much!


If somebody knows more about plant/animal life in Delta, I would be very grateful!


Like, which fish can be found there, are there snakes by or in the river, coyotes in the woods, white-tailed deer, raccoons, beavers, skunks, opossums? Maybe black bear?

Yes to all the listed mammals, with wild hogs becoming more and more of a nuisance. Largemouth Bass, catfish (flathead, blue and channel), crappie, bream, perch and "sunfish," are the most common fish. Catfish is the most commonly eaten fish, with channel and blue being the most desirable. The most common venomous snakes are water moccasins (called cottonmouths) and copperheads. There are a few different types of rattlesnakes in the 'Sip with timber rattlers (called canebrakes) being the most common. There are too many nonvenomous snakes to list, water snakes (several subspecies), king snakes and garter snakes are some of the most common.


Do people drink their sweet southern ice there?

Yes. It is simply called tea. Tea is assumed sweet, if you want it unsweet, you need to specify, "unsweet."


Are there live oaks? Which sorts of pine and oak are most common?

Loblolly and shortleaf are probably the most common pines. There are many varieties of oaks. Magnolias, sweet gums and sycamores are some of the more common trees, but cypress is the iconic "swamp tree." In the north delta there are several pecan orchards.

Do black and white people there stay away from each other?

No, they get along about the same as other rural others, friendly with each other, but probably don't socialize much. Outside of Cleveland, MS, most of the other towns don't have much white population.


I'm sorry for so many questions and thanks once again for all of your kind answers, you've been very helpful.
We are ready for more!

Last edited by viverlibre; 02-17-2020 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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viverlibre's answers are very good.

I suggest reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both by Mark Twain, for a little background on the Mississippi River. Both are considered literary classics. The books are very old (slavery is still a thing, and the language is archaic), but the descriptions of the river itself are still accurate. Except replace paddlewheelers with tugboats and barges.

The only live oaks you'll find were intentionally planted. Their native range is much farther south along the Gulf coast.

There are Black bears; the original Teddy Roosevelt "Teddy Bear" story is from Mississippi. But currently they are somewhat rare and classified as endangered in the state. Maybe 150 or so in the entire state? They do mostly live in the Delta region, though.

The Mississippi River ranges in width from 0.5 mile to 1.5 mile. As mentioned, very dangerous for swimming unless in a protected area. About the only boat traffic is tugboats with barges and the occasional local fishing boat.

Whether or not you call the river polluted is debatable. It's filled with runoff from polluted rivers (and septic systems) from half the country, but there's a LOT of water to dilute it. It is most definitely filled with silt and mud, as is every other river in the Delta.

Racial tensions: Don't believe the stereotypes. There are more daily inter-racial interactions in Mississippi than in any other state, mainly because there are more minorities here than anywhere else, and the overwhelming majority are just as friendly as can be. One issue, though, is that the Delta is mostly "minority-majority" (i.e., white people are the minority). This changes interactions around from the rest of the country.

We're assuming that by "sweet southern ice" you meant "tea". As viverlibre said, if you order "tea" it will be sweet and iced. You have to specify unsweet and/or hot.


One more thing that hasn't been touched on... the Mississippi "Delta" region is flat. Pancake flat. Makes Kansas seem like a mountain range flat (I've lived in both areas). The only "hills" in the delta region are river levees and highway overpasses.

Last edited by An Einnseanair; 02-17-2020 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Atlanta (O4W)
96 posts, read 104,570 times
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I'd highly recommend reading DISPATCHES FROM PLUTO: Lost And Found In The Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant. It's a personal account of Grant (and his girlfriend) relocating to the Delta from New York City. He offers an in-depth look at race relations in the Delta, the culture that exists there...and discusses many of the animals, plants and trees native to the area. It's a fascinating read for anyone interested in life in the Delta, from a (formerly) outsider's perspective. Best of luck on your book!
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Memphis
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There is no place on earth like the Mississippi Delta. It has been dubbed the "most southern place on earth."

Greenville is one of the larger towns in the region and located on the Mississippi River. It will have everything you speak of, but it would not be my first choice.

Indianola, just east of Greenville about 20-30 minutes, and Greenwood, about an hour east of Greenville, will have the same culture. Greenwood is probably considered the "nicest" of those 3 Delta towns with significant improvements to its downtown over the past 10-20 years. Greenwood also has the Yazoo River which flows through town.

Cleveland, located about 30ish minutes north of Indianola, will also have all of the culture you are seeking but also has a college town vibe with Delta State being located there.

If I were you, I would live in Cleveland or Greenwood and talk to folks about farming and laborers and culture. I am not sure where you are from internationally, but there are lots of South Africans that work as seasonal laborers the past several years. From there you can make some inroads and explore some of the small communities like Rosedale, Hollandale, Itta Bena, Morgan City, Money, Drew, Inverness, etc.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Southern California
474 posts, read 574,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerCitySoul View Post
I'd highly recommend reading DISPATCHES FROM PLUTO: Lost And Found In The Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant. It's a personal account of Grant (and his girlfriend) relocating to the Delta from New York City. He offers an in-depth look at race relations in the Delta, the culture that exists there...and discusses many of the animals, plants and trees native to the area. It's a fascinating read for anyone interested in life in the Delta, from a (formerly) outsider's perspective. Best of luck on your book!
Before I read Richard Grant's Dispatches From Pluto I thought I knew a little something about Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta. Turns out I knew next to nothing about this most extraordinary place. This book is truly exceptional. Like InnerCity said, It's a fascinating read for anyone interested in life in the Delta.

Grant's most recent book, The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi will be released Sept. 1st 2020.
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