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Broxton Rocks, Rocks

May 1, 2013

Broxton Rocks may seem remote but it’s certainly worth the drive. Get off I-16 at Dublin, turn onto GA 441, drive south to Broxton, and it’s a couple of miles to the gate. Of course right now you’ll need “clearance” because an impromptu visit might conflict with turkey hunting season or a similar event. Best to watch for tours by the Nature Conservancy or GOS and go with them. By the way my personal opinion, and that’s all it is, is that hunting is a good thing when it’s regulated and controls a population of prey which can stand it and needs it. The “Bambi” syndrome has created a huge problem with deer in this country, overpopulation, disease and I think a sensible approach is to follow history. As long as what is taken is eaten and not hung on a wall… more power to ’em.

Without getting into things about which I know very little, like geology, (and almost everything else…) a description of the “Rocks” must include the fact that they exist because a tiny part of a vast area of subterranean rock rarely in view is exposed there which has allowed a relatively small stream to alter the landscape through time. The Altamaha grit, as it’s called, underlies 12,000 to 15,000 square miles of the southeastern United States from South Carolina to Mississippi. Through the eons tiny Rocky Creek, in Coffee County, Georgia, has carved this little wonder world only because of this rare exposure of the Altamaha grit.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been involved in acquiring land in the area of the Broxton Rocks over many years for the purpose of protecting the fragile inhabitants of these cliffs and pine woods. Some of the plants exist nowhere else at this latitude. Much of the land has been forcibly changed from its natural logical characteristics by the actions of farmers, land developers and lumber companies. TNC is slowly bringing those areas back to what they were when nature directed its own course. This is a project which will not be completed in a short time and it’s nice to be assured that TNC and their partners in the state will be in it for the long haul, with our help and the help of succeeding generations.

Fortunately there are people who take on the responsibility of protecting that which cannot protect itself… mostly from us. They plan for the future, working under the auspices of various organizations like The Nature Conservancy, The Georgia Ornithological Society, The Audubon Society, The Georgia Forest Watch and others. On this trip Malcolm Hodges of TNC led our group. What a privilege it was just to be there, listen to him and start to get a feeling for the unique place the “Rocks” is. Malcolm has a wealth of information about the wide range of wildlife present at the Rocks, which he willingly and colorfully shared throughout the day, always informative, patient, funny and pleasant. I thank him so much for helping us begin to understand this wonderful place.

I made photographs, mostly wildflowers. I’ll present them with labels as I identify them. (That means I’ll come back and add names when I find them). If I know what they are it’ll be here, otherwise just numbered.

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