• I met a man from Hurley, MS, who’s been in the area for two weeks and is looking to nab a permanent camper spot at Meaher State Park. It’s true, the camper lots often have satellite dishes and are decorated with lawn furniture and ornaments. I had no idea.
  • I successfully identified Giant Plume Grass with my Audubon field guide. Well, it’s either that or Sugarcane Plume Grass, I now wonder upon consulting the interwebs. My Audubon guide doesn’t actually list tons of species since it covers flora and fauna for such a large area, so it’s just got the one variety of plume grass. I failed to identify anything else, but I’m blaming it on lack of leaves on the trees.
  • Of course I recognized blackberry vines. They’re so familiar I was thinking, “Blackberries–I wonder if you can make wine out of ’em?” before I realized that, of course, I was surrounded by blackberry vines. I love how some blackberry leaves will go a purplish, almost black.
  • Canada geese, American black ducks, some kind of white heron or egret, a plover?–maybe a black-bellied plover?
  • (A couple of weeks ago saw a great blue heron. It was magnificent!)
  • No alligators to feed or harass.

Meaher State Park is undoubtedly named after Timothy Meaher, owner of the last ship to bring African slaves to the US through Mobile. Although the domestics slavery trade was still legal, it was no longer legal to bring in slaves from abroad, so the new slaves were forced to hide in marshy canebrakes until Meaher and his men could figure out what to do with them. If the plume grass that I saw today is like the cane the slaves of the Clotilda stayed in, I can tell you it makes strange noises. There is the expected whisper as the wind off the bay rustles in the old broken cane that gathers at the water’s edge, but the cane also creaks like wood planks carrying a load. More than once I wondered if someone were walking behind me on the boardwalk, even though I was the only one out there.


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