Alabama Creek

November 24th, 2007

We spent Thanksgiving week down in Alabama with family, spending most of the time at a cabin within Bankhead National Forest. This is a beautiful area with plenty of creeks, forest, and limestone outcroppings all around. Even despite a record summer drought, the creeks, while low, still had some water in them.

Creek

Along one area of the creek, there was a patch of these really interesting looking reeds. They’re hollow reeds, that somewhat resemble bamboo, except for the fact that they don’t have any leaves.

Reed

Each node has a white section, encompassed by black. I have no idea whether they’re native or introduced.

Reed Node

Some of the stalks had flower heads on them, but I didn’t actually see any in bloom, so I’m unsure whether these are truly flowers, or whether they’re just seed pods. If anyone can identify this plant for me, I’d really appreciate it! (edit: Thanks to commenter Kelley for identifying this as Equisetum sp., or more commonly known as “horsetail.”)

Reed Flower Head

Most of the leaves had already fallen from this area of the forest, with the exception of some late beech trees. There are many pine and spruce trees throughout the forest, but they’re not shown here.

Creek and Forest

The creek contained many rocks completely covered in moss. Creek banks, and even some tree trunks were also quite covered in moss. I didn’t bring any home with me to try out in the aquarium, however.

Mossy Rock

Walking along one of the trails, I nearly stepped on this Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis). I think he was just as startled as I was because he went into his brown coloration, and stood perfectly still hoping not to be seen.

Anolis carolinensis

I took advantage of his stoic pose to take quite a few pictures of him. Our family tells us that these lizards are seen all over the place, and are quite common to their hollow.

Anolis carolinensis

Not in the creek, but in a puddle near the cabin, this little salamander was staying moist. He was only about 3-4 inches long, and quite active.

Salamander

6 Responses to “Alabama Creek”

  1. Kelley Says:

    Hi Kris,

    The unidentified bamboo-looking plant is Equisetum sp. It is commonly known as horsetail in the midwest. I am not from the South, but it is most likely native. In Iowa, it grows in almost every ditch. I grew some in a tub pond on my porch and was very happy with it.

    It is not a flowering plant, but the thing at the top is it’s mode of reproduction. If I recall, it’s a sporangium.

    Thanks for posting the great pictures! I often check in on your nice site.

  2. guitarfish Says:

    My family in Alabama is really going to appreciate knowing that it’s horsetail! Thanks again for your nice comments!

  3. Lolly Knitting Around » Alabama Accent Says:

    […] nature photos on Kris’s blog and on […]

  4. Suz Says:

    I’ve seen the “horsetail” growing in Michigan and NW Indiana and i played with it as a kid. It snaps apart at the sections and you can put it back together. Fun stuff.

  5. Zeb Says:

    Greatpic….I love how you put your name on pics that I took..give your cuz some credit!! Haha just kidding…Miss ya’ll

  6. guitarfish Says:

    Zeb, you’re too much. We had a great time down there with everyone. ‘Hope to see ya’ll again before too long!

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