Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tallassee Visit With Grandkids--Playing in the Creek

Wild Bergamot  blooms at Tallassee 

Tallassee Visit With Grandkids--Playing in the Creek 

Tuesday June 27, 2017 

Dana Koogler

Michael and Tessa Lindsey

Photos are here starting with frame 210

   I had been promising the kids I'd take them to Tallassee to play in the creek.  One thing and another kept interfering.  I finally got the time to spend the day with them. It freed Crystal up to study and 
at last I kept my word.  Tessa had never been there so I knew she'd like it.   We packed a big picnic 
lunch and down the road we went.   It is about 25 miles from home but takes 45 minutes to get there.
The Foothills Parkway has a slow speed limit, but at least it is a good road and a pretty drive.
The day promised to be nice weather.  It was cooler. slightly overcast with little spots of sun now and then.  One step out of the jeep down there and the fresh smell of Summertime was upon you.
It smells like nothing else. It is so good.  

        We had to ford the creek immediately. It is a wade up above your ankles.
Once across we walked the red dirt road for 0.6 miles to a path on the right. The road was in good condition and the path to the creek had been mowed.   We saw snake doctors dart about.  Butterflies 
flitted around and lit in the mud.  Wild bergamot, wild basil, and all sorts of sunflowers dotted the 
sides of the road.  The most prevalent color today though was green. Deep green.

   We walked down the path and there was Cochrans Creek. It is shallow here.  The  deepest spot is probably 2 1/2 feet in one hole.  The rest is ankle deep.  It is a good stretch of stream for kids to wade in and splash around. Lots of crayfish, salamanders, minnows and sucker fish here.   We spent what felt like 45 minutes playing in the stream.  I was later to realize we had been in the water for 2 hours!
Time really does fly when you're having fun.  We caught a few tiny minnows. Saw and did not catch a Mad Tom.  We did catch several crawdads and lots of salamanders. All catch and release! 
Salamander #1 

We found that our nets worked better for catching minnows.  The good ole solo cup worked best for 
crawdads and salamanders.  I have gotten a bit rusty, but my skills catching critters came back quick.
There is a better stream for this way up toward Tapoco's property, but that was too far for Tessa to walk.   It is pretty back there. I can't wait to go back myself. I'll probably go next week.

The photos below will show you why I want to go:

Shingle creek rushing past below me.
Such a pretty stream. 

Salamander in the stream bed. He matches the gravel perfectly!
Now this is an easy creek for catching salamanders!  The creek bed is so pretty.  
I dream of places like this at night.   Getting to spend time some place like this is like finding treasure.  I feel like I'm a child again and lose all track of time.  
 Tessa and Michael playing in the stream. Nets. Watering cans. Cups.  I never dreamed I'd be a grandma taking my grandchildren to do the same sorts of things I did when I was their age.
I'm sure glad I get to do these things.  


Looking intently for critters.  We did see one black snake today but only got to say farewell. It had been run over by a vehicle crossing the road and was dead.  Sad.  

Michael says Look! 

Medium sized crawdad and little crawdad.  One claw extra. Michael got to keep the claw. 
Tootsa Rootsa pouring water.  This creek is just right.  It has enough water but it won't let your stuff get washed away. 

       One big triumph of the day was getting Tessa to pee outdoors.  She is not as rough a character 
as her grandmother.  We enjoyed the creek until little tummies started to rumble wanting lunch. 
I could tell they were getting tired too.  We had Bible School this evening so I wanted to get them home to lay down to rest. I did not want to take two angry tigers to church!  We picked up our stuff
and began to head back toward the church.  We would have lunch under their pavilion.  

     The hike back was a little easier.  It is downhill or level.  I told them if we felt like it after lunch we'd walk back to the first creek ford and play there some more.  They were glad to know that was an option.   The took a look at their dry clothes in the jeep and said they wanted to go ahead and change into dry things. They were done with water play today.  Tired kids.  That is a triumph for Nanny!
They helped me put our toys away and set up the picnic.  It was very informal.   
I let Tessa and Michael sit on the table.   They thought that was funny.


Yum yum yum!  I have two grands who love cantaloupe.  
We had sweet tea, ham and cheese sandwiches. red pepper slices. carrot sticks, chips and onion dip. 
Watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe.   We ate plenty and were ready to head home.
It was a fun day and a nice relaxing day.

  On the hike back to the jeep I had mentioned to Michael that I was very glad I grew up during a time when we had no computers, video games, and not so many toys.  He asked me why? I asked him to think about what kind of Nanny I'd have ended up like if I had been an indoor kid? A couch potato who did not like to get dirty or wet.?  I said you have essentially a 52 year old little girl for a grandmother.  I still like to wade the creek. Long live the spirit of play.

Short video of the kids playing in the creek

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