Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mingo in the Black Mingo

We redeemed comp time and stayed home the last two days, since the kids did not have school but the teacher-parents did need to report. As the days remained sunny and pleasant, we decided to take our 3-month-old Lab to her namesake.

General Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion fought at numerous sites in South Carolina and used our state's swamps to his advantage. He quite possibly rode beneath the very bald cypress that stand today in Audubon's Francis Beidler Forest. As noted previously, South Carolina has no natural lakes and the dams that created Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie were over 150 years from existence. In one of the battles that we remembered from our history lessons, Francis Marion maneuvered his troops through Black Mingo Swamp and attacked the British (see historical marker). When it came time to name the jet-black puppy from a water-loving breed, Mingo seemed appropriate.

Although the images show Mingo's first steps into Black Mingo Creek to be tentative, she quickly became comfortable moving into deeper water. Notice that the water appears to be a different and not-so-black color in the shallow water. Tannic acid from the leaves and bark of trees stains the water just as tea leaves add color and flavor to the South's favorite drink. The water is a uniform color throughout the swamp, but with less water in the shallow areas, there is less stain through which to peer. Deeper water contains more stained water. Therefore, the deeper water appears to be black. However, if that "black" water were to be scooped out in a clear glass, it would appear only slightly colored and significantly lighter than iced tea.

Although not confirmed, Mingo dipped in the Black Mingo appears to have taken on an Achilles-like cloak of least in her mind.

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