Thursday, June 2, 2011

Leaving Crooked River

Crooked River State Park, near St. Mary’s, GA, was our home for two weeks.  Here are just a few final memories of our time here.  I had brought home two pictures of gopher tortoises from Kingsley Plantation.  They are the only tortoise east of the Mississippi, and an endangered species.  While Jean enjoyed the pictures, she felt slighted that she hadn’t seen one herself, so always eager to please, yesterday I produced two, just for her.  This one was walking down the side of the road, and a couple hours later, we watched as one crossed a road.

We walked the semper virens trail (ever living).  I described the Indian oyster shell middens earlier, and the calcium from the decomposing shell alters the soil to allow the growth of trees and shrubs that otherwise would not be found in Georgia.  We saw grape vines as large as a man’s arm, trees that have obviously lived here hundreds of years, and cedars along the salt marsh that have made such heroic efforts to find good soil and water that here they produced a wooden wall of webbed root. 
Jean found a large butterfly that has endured the hardships of life until you wonder how much further its damaged wings will be able to carry it.
The nearby U.S. Navy submarine base at Kings Bay has only this display available to the public.  It is the sail from the George Bancroft, commissioned 1966 and decommissioned in 1993.  The hull is cement,or more likely ferro-cement, but the sail is that which actually came from the vessel itself.
There are numerous wildflowers that produce beautiful splashes of color, such as these wild phlox.
With a large forest canopy overhead, even the hot afternoon sun couldn’t prevent a cooling shade and breeze as we pulled up a chair and enjoyed the marshes and waters of the Crooked River low-country.

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