Saturday, October 24, 2009

Below Sea Level

And now the moment you've been hoping would never arrive waiting for, another excerpt from the 1962 Mathews County Soil Survey by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Today's episode takes place on page 1, where we find our leading lady, Mathews County, described as follows:

"...Mathews County lies along the Chesapeake Bay in the southeastern part of Virginia. It occupies low, nearly level marine terraces."

CBW here, wishing to interrupt augment the above statement. Low doesn't even begin to describe things here. They need to mention that it's possible to stand in one's own yard and need scuba gear be below sea level. Now we return to the Soil Survey, already in progress.

"...Mathews County has a total of 105 square miles, or 67,200 acres. Of this, there are 46,752 acres of land area, 8,938 acres of inland water and 11,520 of open water. The town of Mathews is the county seat."

CBW here again, wishing to apologize profusely for the use of so many numbers in one sentence. I was OK with that first 105, but after the 67,200 my eyes rolled back in my head because we don't do numbers very well, and when I say "we" I mean "me, myself and CBW" because I/she/we can shift from first to third person (singular or plural) quicker than the gears on a race car.

The Soil Survey wants CBW to stop talking so it can say more:

"Elevations in the county range from sea level to about 70 feet. The average elevation is approximately 10 feet, but in a considerable area, the elevation is 5 feet or less."

CBW here, wishing to point out that she is laughing hysterically at the above understatement. In fact, she's slapping her thigh and stomping her foot to punctuate that howling laughter.

The only thing that's 70 feet above sea level around here is nothing if you exclude troposphere and the towers in the woods behind the high school. The bank along the Piankatank River at the bridge which connects us to Middlesex might be more than a few feet high, but otherwise the "considerable area" that is everything else is at or below sea level for all intents and purposes.

Since the Soil Survey and I have come to a disagreement, I think it's time to call it a post.

p.s. Unrelated to the Soil Survey, the photo above was taken at Bethel Beach. What drew me was the curvy "s" shape of the shoreline at low tide. I fixate on things like that and truly wish I could devote as much energy and attention to detail to other aspects of my life such as housework and bill paying, but thankfully it's Saturday and I will not entertain such hideous thoughts.

May your Saturday be filled with thoughts of a curvy shoreline, with nary a bill or chore in sight.


Annie said...

Ah, yes. It is Saturday afternoon as I post this "down under" here,and I am watching a dvd! More burying of heads in sand.
The process of getting the dvd to actually play was quite a learning experience. I'll call that my work for the day, oh, apart from washing, scooping leaves out of and around the pool, transferring photos to a disc for my niece..etc etc.

We are luckily quite a way above sea level! But have a good Saturday anyway!

mom x 2 said...

hahah, you are funny :)

Mental P Mama said...

I think you should go trespassing up on the North River. Just sayin'.

Daryl said...

I agree with Lauren ... I bet there are a lot of S curves on the North to be explored .. and thank goodness its Saturday .. okay it is raining but its still Saturday

Country Girl said...

It's good to gaze upon the curvy shoreline here. Raining again in Maryland. Trying to not be depressed about it.

Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

I can so relate to this post as our entire neighborhood is so far below sea level that we've in the midst of voting on a town bond to study why all of us have flooded basements 9 months out of every year.

Turns out, as was discovered in some earlier studies, that when they built our little neighborhood, Bay Park, that they never bothered to worry about drainage issues. Lovely!

I wish I were joking.

And I wish it weren't yakking down buckets of the wet stuff, otherwise I'd be out dragging Gaby and Gareth around my own part of the eastern shoreline, snapping megapixel after megapixel! Alas, tomorrow will see us once again with sunny skies and we're off to Salem, MA to imbibe in the yearly spooky celebrations going on down there.

Have a great weekend!

foolery said...

You MUST have had reflectors on that sea grass, right? Holy firjoles the light is great where you live! Even if you *are* under water.