Monday, November 12, 2012

Rabun County: Coleman River Road

September 15th, 2012. After driving over Patterson Gap Road in the Chattahoochee National Forest, we turned off Persimmon Road and drove up the Coleman River Road as far as we could go. This road, also, is graveled and is in reasonably good condition to the Coleman River crossing. It also has suffered water erosion to produce some rough sections in spots. It didn’t have the variety of wildflowers we encountered on the Patterson Gap Road but did have some interesting features.
Summer cottage
A summer cottage in the last open space before we headed into the forest

Coleman River Crossing
This must be a beautiful area in the Spring when the rhododendrons are blooming.

Looking up stream. Rhododendrons all but obscure any view of the creek, but…

it is possible to catch a glimpse of the water cascading down.

 Downstream, the river is open, but…

is still lined by rhododendrons.

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)
Partridgeberry is found throughout the eastern United States; from Main to Minnesota and south to Texas and Floria. In Georgia, it’s been documented in counties throughout the north, along the coast and the Georgia-Florida border.

Above a certain altitude, the road embankment was carpeted with a ground cover of Partridgeberry.. I’d never seen the berries before and these areas had impressive displays. This particular patch was along a dry embankment in an area that had been logged. In many areas the carpets were in moist embankments with overhangs.

Closer views of the leaves and berries.

Spring house

I’ve only ever seen one or two spring houses. This one was set on the west side of the road. It’s about 5 to 6 feet high and wide and had a good flow of water given the drought that we’ve been experiencing during the last few years. It was late afternoon and I took this photo using flash.

Next: A real surprise. Indianpipes (Monotropa uniflora)
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification Resources:
Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry, Twinflower)

United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)

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