Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Altamaha River

I have to see
more of this river!

I left home,
and kitties
to spend the weekend
biking for this river.

Now I want
to meet
the Altamaha River.

So I drive down
to the town
of Darien, Georgia...

To meet the new Riverkeeper,

She has just inherited
this title from James Holland.

I never met the man
but the internet is full
of his accolades

He sounds like he
was a warrior
willing to go to battle
with the polluter....

Photo by James Holland

...and a lover
tender to the fragile life
along his river.

He explored dark woods
to find old cypress trees
44 feet in circumference!

Prehistoric, he said.

He took magnificent photos
of the wildlife and beauty
of the Altamaha River.

Yes, you have
large shoes to fill, Sonja.

She shows me the office...
a bit of a mess
but busy - which is good.

Look at
the map of the river
streaming down
from the center of the state.

Sonja walks me down
to the pier
behind the office.

Views of the river...

A glimpse
of snowy egret.

Shrimping boats who need
clean water and marshes
to grow their bounty.

We hop in cars
and cross the bridge.

Brief stop to ponder
the expanse of the river.

Wild rices,
abandoned by farmers,
dance at river's edge.

Off to the docks.

Dock cats
why we're here.

Do we have fish for them?

The gulls wonder, too.

No, we're just here
to soak in
the beauty of the still waters.

Cats don't care.

They just want fish.

Sonja has to leave.

Thanks, Sonja, for taking
your Sunday morning
to show me your river.

Good luck, Riverkeeper.

Now I stop - I have 10 minutes left -
to explore the Nature trail
I glimpsed along the road.

Just 10 minutes.

Just up this path...

Oh, look, what's around
that corner?

A little farther now.

What is that tall fluffy plant
towering over my head?

Looks like
a wild cotton plant.

Hawk or osprey?

I can't tell.

I've got to climb the viewing tower.

I've got to hurry...

Gotta get to McDonough
by 5:00 to return the bike.

But I pause...

The marshes are so beautiful.



I could stay here forever.

But I shake my head.

I need to hurry back.

Long drive...

Return bike...

Airport in rain...


But in the noise
and jangle of city
and steel...

I close my eyes...
and remember
the River.


  1. helen what a beautiful scrapbook of your visit! im so glad you made the effort to come down, and i hope you'll come back when you have more time. im inspired all over again!
    *sandy jones
    bluemoon brunswick

  2. Hello. I have recently taken on communications for an organization called GreenLaw (www.greenlaw.org). They defend the Altamaha Riverkeeper against those breaking environmental law in Georgia. I was wondering if I may borrow some of your photos of the river for when we post? We want more people to value the river and we hope that providing beautiful images of what is worth saving will help. -These posts would mostly be in social media such as the GreenLaw Facebook page.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Certainly Greenlaw you may use my pictures. I fell in love with the Altamaha River and I would be thrilled to help in any way to protect it.

    What a treasure for Georgia! I had never heard of your river until this bike ride. I am so glad I got to experience such a beautiful part of our country.