Thanks once again to Cheri for hosting Sunday Favorites where we get to share a favorite post from the past. Since it's almost time for the Cahaba Lily Festival, I thought I'd repost something I did last year about this same time along with a follow up. When you're finished here, be sure to head over to Happy to Design to read other Sunday Favorites.
So many of you had questions about the pictures of the Cahaba lily that I posted for last week’s Wordless Wednesday that I decided a follow up with words is in order.
Hymenocallis coronaria is the proper name for the plant that is commonly known as the Cahaba lily. The name comes from the Cahaba River, the longest free-flowing river in Alabama.
In the Cahaba and Little Cahaba Rivers, the seeds from the Cahaba lily nestle in the crevices of the rocky shoals where they grow and bloom from mid-May to mid-June. In Georgia and South Carolina, the lilies are often referred to as the Shoal lily.
The Cahaba Lily Festival is celebrated each year in West Blocton, Alabama, on the last Saturday in May, which will be May 30th this year. My friend Becky and I dragged our husbands to the festival one year, where I took the pictures that I posted on Wordless Wednesday and that are posted here.
To get up close and personal with the lilies, we had to wade into the river. Here's Becky wading out to a stand of lilies. Be advised that the river bed is not only rocky but also covered in lots of little snails, so a good pair of water shoes or old tennis shoes is a must.
The three-inch wide white flowers have six long, narrow parts that surround the corona. They have been mistaken for the Swamp lily, which likes moist or boggy soil in a forest setting.
The flowers begin to open late in the day and then begin to wither in the heat of the following day. Although many botanist consider the lily to be endangered, it is not protected by the state or federal governments. Admirers are strongly discouraged from poaching the lily as this will further endanger it, and it will not live outside its native shoals environment.
If you’d like to read more about the Cahaba lily, please visit the website by clicking HERE.
A few weeks ago, I bought my first digital SLR camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T1i. Wanting to learn as much as I could about all of its modes and functions and particularly how to operate it in manual mode, I signed up for a four-week photography class at Birmingham School of Photography.
This week we had our first shooting assignment, and I spent all week anticipating it. LBeau and I would pack a picnic lunch, head down to West Blocton, and I would once again get up close and personal with the beautiful white lilies. I awoke to blue skies on Saturday morning, and shortly afterward I received a text message from my friend Karen, whose husband owns a grocery in West Blocton. "The lilies are blooming."
Shortly after turning off of Bibb County Highway 24 at the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, we got our first glimpse of the river. It was not a pretty sight. Swollen from recent rains, the river was swift and muddy. I wouldn't be needing that extra pair of tennis shoes and socks, because I wouldn't be getting into the river on this day. Oh well, I'd just have to take my photos from the bank.
Arriving at the site of the first stand of lilies about a mile down the road, it was apparent that wouldn't be happening either. See these poor lilies struggling to keep their heads above water. This is one of about three clumps of plants we could see. The rest were obviously under water.
I still needed some pictures from my Tuesday night class. How about this abandoned car seat?
Or maybe this pile of trash that some inconsiderate hikers had left beside an old tree.
I did find a couple of fishermen enjoying the beautiful spring weather. I'm not sure how well the fish were biting, however. That blue dot floating down the river appeared to be a nice cooler that some canoeist must have lost when he/she overturned in the river.
Speaking of canoeists, these girls were working on their tans while navigating the river currents.
On the way back to the car, I climbed the side of a hill to get this picture of some moss covered boulders and oak leaf hydrangeas. I was rewarded with a tick.
Let's just hope the weather cooperates this week and the river subsides for next weekend's Cahaba Lily Festival. I won't be able to make it, so I guess I'll be waiting another year to get up close again with the lilies.