11 December, 2008

SKYWATCH FRIDAY-A Day in the Countryside


This past Sunday the weather was freezing but the skies beautiful and blue. The wind was whipping and the temperature was in the teens but, I decided to brave the elements and hit the road. Traveled about 18 miles up the road and was blessed with many great photographic opportunities including this of a side channel of the James River near Eagle Rock. Please visit Skywatch Friday for more fabulous photographs from throughout the world.

The James River is a 410-mile (660 km) long river, including its Jackson River source. It drains a catchment comprising 10,432 square miles (27,020 km2). The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million people (2000). It is the 12th longest river in the United States that remains entirely within a single state.

The James River forms in the Allegheny Mountains, near Iron Gate on the border between Allegheny and Botetourt counties from the confluence of the Cowpasture and Jackson Rivers, and flows into the Chesapeake Bay at Hampton Roads. Tidal waters extend west to Richmond, the capital of Virginia, at its fall line, (the head of navigation). Larger tributaries draining to the tidal portion include the Appomatox River, Chickahominy River, Warwick River, Pagan River, and the Nansemono River.

The navigable portion of the river was the major highway of the Colony of Virginia during its first 15 years, facilitating supply ships delivering supplies and more people from England. However, for the first five years, despite many hopes of gold and riches, these ships sent little of monetary value back to the sponsors. In 1612, businessman John Rolfe successfully cultivated a non-native strain of tobacco,which proved popular in England. Soon, the river became the primary means of exporting the large hogshead of this cash crop from an ever-growing number of plantations with wharfs along its banks. This development made the proprietary efforts of the Virginia Company of London successful financially, spurring even more development, investments and immigration. Below the falls at Richmond, many James River plantations had their own wharfs, and additional ports and/or early railheads were located at Warwick, Bermuda Hundred, City Point, Claremont, Scotland, and Smithfield, and, during the 17th century, the capital of the Colony at Jamestown.

Navigation of the James River played an important role in early Virginia commerce and the settlement of the interior, although growth of the colony was primarily in the Tidewater regions during the first 75 years. The upper reaches of the river above the head of navigation at the fall line were explored by fur trading parties sent by Abraham Wood during the late 17th century.
Although ocean-going ships could not navigate past present-day Richmond, portage of products and navigation with smaller craft to transport crops other than tobacco was feasible. Produce from the Piedmont and Great Valley regions traveled down the river to seaports at Richmond and Manchester through such port towns as Lynchburg, Scottsville, Columbia and Buchanan.

Today the river offers a variety of recreational activities including rafting, fishing and boating.

37 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Beautiful sky reflection. Very interesting post.

fishing guy said...

Erin: That is a beautiful reflection sight at the river.

Guy D said...

Fantastic skywatch shot, I love that reflection. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Such an interesting shot. Very pretty. Also enjoyable to read some of the information about the place in your photo, too.

~Lisa
New Mexico

Ruth said...

Gorgeous reflective photo and interesting history lesson. Great SW post!

PJ said...

We're having the dreariest weather and it's so lovely to see sunshine and such a crisp reflection. Beautifully done.

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

Reflective, reflection of a winter scene.

Suz Broughton said...

I love how blue the reflection is. I've never seen one so blue! Beautiful shot!

Pietro said...

Very fine photograph which greatly gives the fresh countryside atmosphere.
Happy Sky Watch!

Grammy said...

I very much enjoyed your beautiful photo.
Have a great sky watch week.
Grammy

Pretty Life Online said...

Perfect catch for Skywatch! Mine’s up too hope you can visit.. Have a nice weekend!

RuneE said...

Seems like the place to be - thank you for sharing!

Susie of Arabia said...

What a beautiful reflection - lovely! You're lucky to live in such a beautiful place...

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I love reflections so this is a hit with me! I enjoy reading bits of history of Virginia and the other 13 colonies in the early U.S. Life was so different back then.

Louise said...

The color in the reflection is spectacular! Interesting information about the river. I grew up near a "James River," and when we read about THE "James River" in history, I wondered if they were connected, but learned quickly they were not.

babooshka said...

Really interesting narrative and that reflection is superb.

Dewdrop said...

I love how the sky makes the river SO BLUE! Wonderful! I love those photography excursions! Great stress relief.

I didn't know that about your river. 12th longest AND contained in one state?! WOW!

mountain.mama said...

I grew up in Virginia and relocated to the west 30 years ago. Rarely am I homesick for the east coast, but I get that way looking at your beautiful pictures.

Kahshe Cottager said...

The reflection in the water shows just how vivid the sky must have been that day .. and cold too! What a beautiful submission for Skywatch!

Wieneke said...

Interesting post, Erin. And of course a beautiful picture. Love the way the clouds are reflected in the water.
Greetings
Wieneke

J and C Smith said...

The water is absolutely beautiful and I am sure absolutely freezing!

Maria said...

The reflection of the sky shows a deeper blue than the sky itself! Beautiful! I also love to take long walks in the countryside :)
Thank you also for the information on your place!
Have a nice weekend!

April said...

This is such a fine and interesting photo - glorious blue sky and reflection! Truly worth 'braving the elements'!

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

Wonderful read for an amazing River... it looks like some great fishing could be had on this water... I wish I could try that... who knows!!?!! =)

Suzi-k said...

what a beauty! I love the depth of the blue reflected in the water, and the tiny ripples that make it interesting

kayleen said...

Gorgeous reflections. I found the history very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

SandyCarlson said...

Your blogs remind me of how much I enjoyed Virginia when I was there last year. I appreciate how much history is respected there. Thanks for sharing the beauty and the history here, too.

earthtoholly said...

I just love reflection shots! This is a really nice one!

Susan said...

Striking reflection in the water. And I love the photo of the chain in the tree below. Mundane objects in strange places are always a favorite of mine.

Marie said...

I love this photo!

Tarolino said...

Hi and thanks for visitng my blog. My dog is not that mighty :) Just middle sized really.
You yourself have an exceptionally stunning image here of the bluer than blue rive reflecting the sky of the same colour.

MedaM said...

Beautiful and informative post, indeed! The photo is fantastic! The reflection is just spectacular!

Arija said...

A beautiful photo and an interesting history to go with it.

Guy D said...

Amazing shot, I love the reflections and you captured it perfectly.

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures

Reluctantfarmchik said...

what a gorgeous picture - you'd never know the wind is blowing, it looks so peaceful! Excellent SWF post.

Mojo said...

I'm really sorry I missed this one when you posted it! Exceptional work!

shadowsinthemoonlight said...

crisp and beautiful reflections
(here's info to hopefully, make you smile: the word verification for my comment is "cusses"!!!
-gel