Friday, November 4, 2011

Flint River, Georgia: Woodbury Crossing to Sprewell Bluff State Outdoor Recreation Area

Continued from here.
On Labor Day weekend, we went over to Landsford Canal State Park in South Carolina to scout locations to view and, hopefully, photograph Hymenocallis coronaria, a lily considered to be a subspecies of Hymenocallis caroliniana (Carolina Spiderlily). Plants grow only in fast-flowing, shallow water currents in shoals on rivers in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. On October 21-22, we went to scout locations on the Flint River for access to photograph the lilies.

To view the section of the Flint River we covered over the two days, you can trace the river from here at Flat Shoals downstream to the Flint River crossing near Woodbury, and then south to Sprewell Bluff State Outdoor Recreation Area. On Friday, we started at the Flat Shoals crossing of the Flint River and stumbled on the Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge, a completely serendipitous encounter. On Saturday we covered the area from the ‘Woodbury crossing over the Flint River south to Sprewell Bluff State Outdoor Recreation Area (ORA) – starts here.

The put-in point to float the Flint River though the shoals to view stands of Hymenocallis coronaria is at this crossing of GA-18 over the Flint River.

The view downstream from the put-in point at the GA-18 crossing of the Flint River to float down the river through the rapids with their stands of Hymenocallis coronaria. You can’t see very far but the river twists and turns between here and the take-out point at Sprewell Bluff State ORA.

We drove south on the eastern side of the river along Dripping Rock Rd, Thundering Springs Rd, Pleasant Valley Rd, Turkey Creek Rd, Fork Dr, Pasley Shoals Rd, and Sprewell Bluff Rd into the State ORA.

Chrysopsis mariana (Maryland Goldenaster). We saw a lot of these along the road, and just a few...

Liatris sp. flowers

Looking west-northwest along the Flint River from a pull-out on Sprewell Bluff Rd. This was the only place to view the river before reaching the ORA.

A closer view from this point.

At Sprewell Bluff State Outdoor Recreation Area.

Looking north along the river from the picnic area. This area is a day use-only area with several hiking trails.

Fall color was just starting to develop.

Looking directly across the river to bluffs on the west side..

Looking south along the river.

We drove back north along roads on the west side of the river and saw...

this flower again – growing in full sun this time. Previously I’d seen it in the Piedmont NWR, growing in the shade. In the sun, the plant grows in a compact shape, about 12 – 18 inches tall. My best guess is that this may be Stachys floridana (Florida Betony).

We also saw a lot of Symphyotrichum patens (Late Purple Aster) in bloom. This bloom is a noticeably darker purple bloom than most asters.

This section of the Flint River has very few access points that would allow easy viewing of Hymenocallis coronaria. The Flat Shoals is the only area that can been seen from the road. A float trip down the river is the only way to really get close to these lilies in this area.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora

Related posts:

- Flint River, Georgia: Flat Shoals And The Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge

- Landsford Canal State Park, South Carolina: Wildflowers

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