Walt's Look Around: The Delta - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: The Delta

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I think I have spent more time in the Delta over the past few weeks than I have since I grew up there. Miz Jo and I have discovered over the years traveling around the state doing these stories that, more likely than not, once we start traveling to a particular area, we will make several more trips to that area before we start going in another direction. And usually the reasons we go that way are not related. Like our recent treks to the Delta. Most of the trips have resulted in stories. But when we did the first, we had no idea that we'd be going back to do the next, and so on. But that's the way it works out.

But at the end of the day, I usually have a large collection of footage that either hasn't been used in any story, or that I'd like to use again in another context. And that's what we have this time, random images of the Delta.

Greenville writer David Cohn was the person who coined the parameters of the Delta as starting in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and ending in Catfish Row in Vicksburg. Lots of folks attribute it to William Faulkner. I'm sure Faulkner borrowed it enough that he probably thought he did write it at first after a while.

But nope, it was David Cohn. And he wrote it in a book he titled, 'God Shakes Creation.' The name of the book came from a sermon by a black preacher in the Delta about the seasons and how it is in summer and autumn and how the snow settles over everything in winter. But in spring, God shakes creation back to life.

So it was about this time of the year that Cohn had in mind when the bare trees have suddenly burst green again. Remember, there are no natural evergreens in the Delta, so greening up in spring changes the world from black and whites and grays of cloudy winter days to living color again.

And the fields that lay fallow all winter are jumping up alive with crops of on kind or another. Mostly corn nowadays. And the crops of newborns are wading out into the world for the first time discovering what it's all about.

Daybreak's the time to get the still camera out. If you aren't getting satisfying stills, wake up earlier and try the same subject.

But even after dark the Delta gives the sky a perspective that you can't get just everywhere. Here's a 30 second exposure of the setting constellation Orion diving into the evening twilight, about to vanish from our night sky until the chilly nights of autumn bring it back.

But it's springtime now. Time to put Orion away and let creation be shaken.

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