Take a moment to listen to my reading aloud of William Bartram’s Words, from William Bartram’s Travels.
William writes eloquently, as usual, about his adventures on the Mobile Delta:
Peaceful and Serene….
Possibly the most peaceful and serene day my father and I had on our trip to Alabama was the day we spent canoeing on the Mobile Delta. We joined a tour of the William Bartram Canoe Trail. We spent 4 or 5 hours canoeing in the wilderness, seeing only a single structure, someone’s fish camp, on our journey.
Missing Plantations and Magnolias….
We did not see any plantations gracing the banks of the river, or groves of magnolias to eat lunch beneath. We stopped along some muddy banks, above which grew many cypress trees for our midday meal.
Because of a storm brewing, we cut our trip short, and thus did not see the Indian Mounds we had originally signed on for. Our guide said he wasn’t sure when the storm would hit. Our guide brought along both his girlfriend and their pet duck. The duck sometime rode in a canoe, and sometimes swam. At one point she jumped into someone else’s canoe, to the amusement of everyone.
Stand Alone Cypress…
Upon seeing a giant cypress in the middle of the water, our guide introduced us to his favorite tree. Apparently all cypresses germinate on dry land. So this cypress had germinated, and then washed into the middle of the channel, where it now thrives.
The view from the canoe….
Compared to the flat-bottomed motor boat I took through the Okefenokee, I much preferred the canoe. It seemed we moved much more quietly and silently through the water, to better hear the sounds of the Delta. And we could get really close views of the banks and cypress knees and other foliage. And because we were so close to the water, I had nice views looking up at the knees and trees.
However, the pictures of the Okefenokee reveal the water carpeted with the lilypads, Nymphaea Nilumbo, which were blossoming when Bartram described them so vividly in his book.
If I had to do it again, I would do the overnight trip on the William Bartram Canoe Trail, spending a couple of days in the swampy Delta of Mobile.
At one point we left the canoes behind, and walked through the swamp. I’ll save the rest of that story for another post, but being on the ground, in the water of the river swamp was amazing for photography. I snapped one of this swamp plant growing beneath the cypress on that walk….
And transformed it into the