James and Jim Drake Excursion
Jim is a gentleman from north Georgia that has published several books in botany. One in particular is “GENTIANS of the Eastern United States”. Gentians is one reason Jim made this long trip was to look at some Sabatia folioso (White Form) I found in riverine habitat in Lewis Creek, a tributary to the Altamaha River in McIntosh County.
The other reason he made this trip was to document “Hog Plums” a plum that sort of favors sandy pine wood habitat. Jim is researching plums for a new book on plums and I believe this trip may have given him the research data he needs for this fruit. By the way, hog plums are not very large, most are slightly smaller than the average marble size and they appear to be real tasty. However, a word to the wise, maybe you should leave hog plums to the wild life in the area because they have a distinct sour taste. Attached to this is one photo of some hog plums we found on the Plum Orchard in McIntosh County.
Jim and I did visit the sand hills on the Plum Orchard (one of my favorite wildflower areas) and after that we launched my 15 feet Jon boat at Champney River Landing for a trip up river to Lewis Creek to see the Sabatia foliloso (white and pink forms). Pink sabatia along the Altamaha are quite plentiful this time of the year, however, the white form is a delight to observe because it is a rare occasion that this plant will reveal white flowers for your viewing pleasure.
Yesterday was an outstanding day for wildlife, while in the sand hill area we observed 4 gopher tortoise with three at one spot. We saw adult wild turkeys and their young that were just getting old enough to fly a little.
During the boat excursion up river we observed alligators, white ibis (adult and immature) little blue herons (Adult and immature, Great blue herons, snowy egrets, little green herons and yellow-crown night herons (adult and immature). I almost forgot about the short-nosed sturgeon that jumped out of the water not more than 5 yards to the side of the boat and we both had a good view of it.
We observed many, many wild flowers like the false dragonhead, pickerel weed, dodder (love vine) rattle snake master, Bartrams air plant and others that I do not know the names of and of course the sabatia folioso.
All in all it was a wonderful day in the field with Jim Drake and he is welcome back any time that he has the opportunity to come here. James Holland