Happy Sunday! Osprey girl here. I figured today is a good day to take a walk down memory lane. I would like to share with you a brief history of how the Chesapeake Bay came into existence. Without the bay, our friends Tom, Audrey, Chester, Essie, and Ozzie would not be able to live in such a wonderful environment. Let’s start oh… 35 million years ago.
BAM. An asteroid hits the lower part of the Delmarva Peninsula, which results in a 55-mile wide crater. As time progresses, the sea level varies. Got it? Get it? Good! Now let’s jump to 10 million years ago. A sequence of ice ages lock ocean waters into major glaciers. During the warmer seasons, the ice melts into the headwaters of the Susquehanna River. The climate continues to warm and eventually a landscape dense with trees is formed. Paleo-Indians inhabited the region 11,500 years ago and with them came Clovis point arrows. Clovis point arrows were used to hunt mammoths, mastodons, sloths, and giant bison. Even today, when the tide is right, arrowheads can be found on my neighborhood beach. Collecting these ancient artifacts was a great pastime for me when I was younger! My family and I have quite a collection of these arrow heads.
If you don’t mind, I am going to skip to the 1600’s. Some of you might have heard of a man by the name of John Smith. This famed Englishman kept a journal and recorded his 2 voyages on the Chesapeake Bay from 1607 to 1609. During John Smith’s first voyage in June of 1608, he traveled north along the Bay’s Eastern Shore to the Nanticoke River and then explored its Western Shore as far north as the Patapsco River. In July of 1608, Smith and his crew set out on his last voyage, which ultimately led him to the head of the bay, the Susquehanna River. Here is a great link to National Geographic’s website which gives you a great visual of Smith’s journey (fair warning, there is a voice in the background in the beginning, I jumped a good mile when I first clicked it). http://www.nationalgeographic.com/chesapeake/interactive/index.html?s1=0|timePeriod=0|tourStop=0
Here is some background on the Captain John Smith Trail from the Chesapeake Conservancy’s website. “The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail commemorates Captain Smith’s exploration of the Bay in 1607 through 1609, and is the nation’s first all-water National Historic trail. It provides a significant conservation, recreation and education resource that stretches over 3,800 miles and traverses most of the Chesapeake’s great rivers”. The Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service are working together to establish a process for prioritizing conservation areas along the trail that are important to the visitor experience. Please visit the Chesapeake Conservancy’s website for more information about this initiative.
I have a few hundred more years to talk about, probably too much for this blog. So that’s it for today.
Until the next blog, adios amigos!