The Cahaba lily is an aquatic, perennial flower that is found only in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Within Alabama, it is known as the Cahaba lily, and elsewhere it is either known as the Shoal lily or Shoals spider-lily. It requires a swift, shallow, water current and direct sunlight to flourish. The plant grows to about 3 feet tall and develops from a bulb that lodges in cracks in rocky shoals. It blooms from early May to late June. Each flower blossom opens overnight and only last for one day.
There is said to be only approximately 50 populations left, in these three states. The three largest remaining populations are located in the Cahaba River in Alabama, the Catawba River in South Carolina, and in the Flint River in Georgia.
I had been planning to attend a trip to West Blocton to photograph these lilies during the Cahaba Lily Festival scheduled last Saturday with a few members of our camera club. Things began falling apart when more storms moved into the area Friday night. In the end, I either missed them or they decided to back out at the last moment.
After arriving, I put on my rubber boots and started wadding out toward the middle of the river. Then a few minutes later I begin hearing the thunder rolling in the distance. I decided that it might be best if made my exit out of the river while I still had a little time. I drove down to the end of the dirt road and spent a little while hiking around the banks.
The thunder stopped about as fast as it started and never presented any problem except for some light rain. A while later the sun began to break through the clouds. As I was preparing to entered back into the river I was questioned by a friendly game warden, if I was fishing. For you all who might be familiar with Bill Engvall, I felt like saying, “Sure I’ve got line on the end of my tripod. Here’s your sign.” I did capture a few images of several swimming along the banks, I wonder if that counted?
Then I decided to take a short video with the peaceful river sounds in the background and wouldn’t you know that some guy picks this time fires up his hover craft. On one hand it is a very interesting and cool boat, on the other, I just didn’t feel like it was the time or the place. So I packed up and called it a day.