Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sweet Home and Mississippi

Monday....road trip got off to a slow start, stuck in Atlanta traffic for 2 and a half hours! Something happened to the road and they closed part of it and made everyone get off where I needed to it took that long to go 7 miles!

Finally Got moving again, and after 8 hrs of driving I found a camp in Alabama.  I forgot to take a photo of my site I was in site #2, a very quiet loop of old farts in big 5ths wheelers, and me!


After a quick shower and a meal it was lights out for me I was exhausted! In the morning I drove to the lake at the park and had a walk around.  

Here's the lovely old stone bathhouse built by the CCC, they rent boats, have swimming, and lots of mountain bike trails.  One of the trails goes all the way around the lake. 

The pain in my foot is keeping me from doing a lot of hiking, but I did a little birding around the area.  
I saw about 18 species in about half an hr fifteen at the campground and another 15 at the lake.  

the eastern bluebird

I found this log reminded me of a dragon for some reason...

A few yellow rumped warblers were making a fuss males and females, of the myrtle variety, the male kept high up and wouldn't show his face...

the Tennessee warbler was more rewarding...

A couple of Great Blue Herons fished the back side of the lake...

then they flew off over the dam,

back on the road a gorgeous day for driving, blue sky with passing clouds, warm but not miserable...yet.

Back on I-85 south, (I took I-20W to I-285 South then I-85 South to Montgomery, AL, then I-65 South to Mobile, and picked up I-10 West just at the Mississippi Line)  Off 65 South I stopped at this Pecan Store, it was part gift shop part restaurant.  I bought 3 postcards and took a walk around the parking lot. 

This was a cool thing in the dog walking ivy covered gazebo. 

Some birds found there 

northern mockingbird

red winged blackbird female

There was a small wetland by the driveway it had some red-winged blackbirds fighting on the reeds, and a few females were present also.  And I saw this weird mud nest...


I have no clue who made it!

I was able to resist the pecans and was back on the road pretty quick, this is on I-65 South heading for Mobile, AL

Then over the Mississippi line I stopped here at the Visitors Center for info 

There was some awesome carvings outside and inside the building. here's a sample...

Not far away was the Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR.  The Mississippi Sandhill Crane does not migrate, and they differ in size and coloration from the regular migrating SH Cranes.  I did not see any cranes they had just completed a prescribed burn along the trail, so I was lucky to see anything. 

The Savannah terrain will respond to the burning with lush new growth, but I'd rather they had done it after my visit...

I saw some awesome pitcher plants and other wild flowers that enjoy having wet feet...

I think these black spots on the upper corner of my photos is my hat, I can't figure out what else it could be!...So this is the Bayou that is on the back section of this short 3/4 mile trail.  I saw a few birds including the great crested flycatcher and a yellow shafted Flicker

sort of a fuzzy flicker...

This was not a planned stop so I didn't visit the other units of the Refuge, I wanted to make it to my planned stop for the night at Buccaneer SP.  Located across from the Gulf of Mexico.

This entire park was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything around here in 2005.  This is very close to New Orleans.  I will not be going to New Orleans.  There is no way it could beat Charleston for old city charm,  and I don't want to fight the traffic.  City slicking is not my cup of tea.  

A willet battles the surf

there is a trail that leads to a marsh here and I walked along it before calling it  a day, found this inquisitive Eastern Kingbird, 

and another Great Crested Flycatcher was fussing at me...

this trail leads to a marsh where I turned around...

back at site 12 where I am 2 rabbits were grazing 

Here is the DixxeLand  getting a well deserved rest.  

I sure do miss Casey  I keep wanting to talk to him, and he is not there...I didn't realize how often I would have a little chat with him while we travel together.  It is way too hot here in the van for him to wait for me so I'm glad he is safe at home, and he is doing great I'm told. 

Tomorrow I will head onto I-12 to bypass New Orleans, and into Louisiana, and eventually back onto I-10 W intoTX where I plan to crawl down the eastern coast to start with! I'm hoping at that point to see some new birds, and more open water.  

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. I had just written a comment and then went to preview it and it disappeared. I hate that, so here goes again.
    Thanks for the routes its good following your trip on the map. I think that if I were travelling in the US I would be singing the songs with the places names in, I have the Lynyrd Skynyrd version of Sweet Home Alambama. Where to next Galveston with Glen Campbell??
    I know how you feel about not having anyone to talk to as I once did a cycling trip to France on my own and said I would never do it again on my own. There was no one to share the highs and lows of the ride, and even though my French is good enough to get by having a chat with my evening beers was restrictive.
    The dark spot on the photos could be a lens hood if you use one or maybe a finger or a stray item that flops in near the lens.
    Safe travels and let’s hope the birds show well for you

    1. Oh I hate when a comment disappears! LoL Yes in fact I had planned to camp on Galveston Island SP for the weekend but they were booked up...I will head beyond that when I leave Sea Rim on Sunday. Maybe get to see the bay tho.

  2. That's quite a traffic hold up. Looks like our M25 around London, on a good day.
    The road trip looks great, and I love seeing the birds you manage to catch up with.
    Love that tree carving. If only I had a talent like that.

    1. Thank you Keith, I am seeing lots of awesome birds, and some lifers for me. I didn't have my camera inside the VC but there was a carved horse head by that same artist..omg it was beautiful.

  3. Since I had to cancel my trip due to high heat conditions something Fred or I would not tolerate. I'll surely enjoy yours as I always do.

    Great bird pictures colors are so crisp. Of course the traffic jam wasn't much fun.All the pretty green trees and flower.
    Looking forward to more. Travel safe

    1. Thanks so much for following along, I do appreciate the company! So sorry you had to cancel your trip...maybe the weather will change. right now I found a shady spot with Verizon signal to make a new post, best to lay low during the heat of the day its hot here in TX too!

  4. Oh beautiful trip except for the traffic delay in Atlanta -- seems like everybody hates driving there (us included, it was terrible when we were there years ago). Wow, it seems like the birds just come to you -- I'm glad since you shouldn't be doing a lot of hiking probabably right now. Keep on finding them (or letting them find you).... I'm loving your trip so far.


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