There used to be a little girl who lived in my house, but now she’s a big girl and attends college on the other side of the state. It is strangely quiet in our house, since she moved. There’s no longer the sound of a constant video game every evening. The dreaded day when we helped move her into her dorm room came and went, and I couldn’t help feeling sad because the moment reminded me that nothing last forever. Nevertheless, I suppose I will get used to the new situation, and I think living away from home should be a good experience for her.
While we were in Rome, Georgia, I had a chance to go on a little nature excursion. I visited Black’s Bluff Preserve and the Coosa River Lock and Dam Park. Black’s Bluff Preserve is a 263 acre property of The Nature Conservancy located next to Floyd County State Prison. Supposedly, it is a rock garden growing on a bluff consisting of Conasauga limestone. I mostly saw invasive species.
Visiting this preserve is by appointment only. I played the part of rebel and walked past the sign . There isn’t any path that leads to the bluff anyway, other than a narrow game trail. At the base of the bluff ,diseased persimmon trees along with non-native kudzu and bradford pear grow. At the top of the bluff is a an unimpressive stand of 2nd growth loblolly pine. I didn’t see anything botanically significant at this site.
The view of the bluff is impressive.
Another view of the bluff.
I found this enormous black or Shumard oak (I can’t tell the difference between those 2 species) at the Coosa River Lock and Dam Park. I estimate it is about 24 feet in circumference.
Here’s another view of the giant black oak. it looks like the top half must have broken off during a storm at one time and has been removed. The tree next to it is a large hackberry.
Here’s a black walnut tree. I wish I had a few in my yard. They are expensive.
The Coosa River is muddy, but it hosts over 70 species of fish. The Coosa River Valley serves as a corridor for Coastal Plain flora and fauna where they can penetrate into the mountain region.