Travelin' through the Basin:
Activity: Guided Imagery
Listen while your teacher reads the following (or sit in a quiet place and read it aloud to yourself):
Imagine you are a small stream, a mere trickle of bright clean water,
snaking, twisting and turning on your way to the sunny southern coast. Your
water spills over rocks and pebbles, smoothing the rough multicolored stones
with the force of your rushing water. The soils and sediments you push along
the bottom are reddish brown in color, arising from alluvial deposits containing
iron compounds. Plop! Plop!… small rocks skip across your surface. Plop!
Plop! Smooth stones first skim and then break the surface as they start to sink.
Ripples mark the spot; each one larger than the first. The small boys and girls
skimming stones turn their attention to other things, and you race down bluff
terraces between craggy tree roots and sandy sediments to another dark pool.
Here the woods smell of pine. The earth, moist and dark, is covered by thin
brown needles and prickly cones. Beside you, a squirrel picks up a newly fallen
cone; with great speed it tears into the sticky interior in search of newly formed
seeds, an afternoon snack perhaps. Your water is dark and quiet. The Native
Americans name you, “Tangipahoa.” Along your way to the lower coastal plain
you now dip, rush, twist and turn, all the while collecting water from the land.
Rain dampens green pasture land that harbors black and white dairy cows. It
rolls off the purple thistle plants, and the glistening drops cascade over the
dark green leaves, finally plunging to the rich moist ground. There, drops
gather and form with other drops into a small rivulet which races to the water’s
edge. As this water enters your gradually enlarging stream, it feeds the bright
green grasslike algae growing at the muddy edge where bubbles of oxygen
float free like balloons during the late night hourswhere tiny fish nip at the
hairy wisps; snails crawl on the cushiony mat, and black water bugs scamper,
darting and springing off the bouncy surface. You now enter Lake
Pontchartrain: Lake Pontchartrain, the collecting basin of a large watershed.
Not only the water from your own Tangipahoa watershed, but drainage from
Lakes Maurepas and Borgne and other small rivers...the Amite, Tickfaw,
Tchefuncte, Bogue Falaya, West Pearl Rivers and Bayou Lacombe all contribute
water to the great lake, Lake Pontchartrain, where all converge to become one:
the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.
Now, why don't you write down what your feelings are about the above passage? You could write a poem or draw a picture about what you saw instead.