Saturday, August 5, 2017

Copperhead Falls

Today's adventure took us to Copperhead Falls in Abbeville Mississippi. Much like the trip to the creek for the fossil hunt except this lovely little outing took us down a back road to an area near a bridge where we parked along the roadside and walked down a steep rocky slope. At the edge before we got to the creek, the kids discovered the remains of something and had to investigate. After a short time, they came to the conclusion that it was definitely not human and it was okay to continue on with our adventure.

I of course had to take a moment to photograph the two beautiful butterflies resting on part of the spine of the dearly departed stinky critter. Moving on, we worked our way down a rather steep, rocky bank that went down. There we noticed several pairs of shoes on the edge of the bank that lead to a pretty little shallow creek that was ankle deep. The stream meandered left and right around several sandy and clay banks with rocks of various sizes intermingled.

As we walked upstream over and around the rocks along the creek bed that was winding left and right  and around corners, the stream wove its way through the wooded landscape going over rocks, under fallen trees and around the sand and clay banks.  Eventually we heard the rushing water of the waterfalls.

Now, I don't want to deceive you  into believing that as we rounded the corner we came across these fabulous rolling falls that you may be imagining. It is Mississippi after all and the landscape is still relatively flat, these are small low falls that were rambling over the rocks in the middle of the creek that created small pools that poured into other pools.

I have to say, that there weren't any areas that I would call particularly deep and I wouldn't say that there was anything at any point that was particularly treacherous, but because of the clay and algae covered rocks, I would warn anyone who might be unsteady or carrying any kind of special electronics like phones or cameras to be a little cautious. There were a couple of times that I lost my footing and almost drowned my camera. But, I digress...

It is a rather beautiful and unique site and I was very happy to experience it. We came across other people enjoying the day and hanging out. We explored the area and kept walking around a few more corners to see just what lay around the next bend. Eventually the creek became too overgrown to continue and we turned around.

We came across lots of different types of native plant species and some invasives growing along the bank also. A huge beautiful Green Dragon(Arisaema dracontium)-a relative of Jack-in-the-Pulpit-was standing tall right at the entrance with a beautiful group of berries still green at this point.

The intoxicating smell of kudzu flowers was amazing. It was probably my favorite smell along the way...a whole lot better than the decayed critter near the roadside entrance that the kids took an interest in and had to examine to figure out what it was. There was also beautiful orange spotted jewelweed(Impatiens capensis) lining the banks with their little spotted orange flowers dancing on the breeze.

One of the kids noticed a tree that had either berries or some type of seed pod that looked like they could have been mulberries, but I wasn't sure because our mulberry tree at home has already fruited sometime in May and it seemed late to me.

There were quite a few critters to see also, snakes, dragonflies, damsel flies, butterflies, minnows, frogs, and algae in different colors. The snakes were harmless water snakes, but it is always important to maintain a safe distance and give them their space. The small snake in the water had just caught a snack and was on it's way to find a safe place to eat it.

The kids played at the falls for a while longer and eventually we headed back toward the car. It was a great day and a great place to explore. We will definitely be back occasionally to enjoy this space hopefully seasonally so that we can see it at different times of the year to watch the changes of the season within the space.

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