Brief-Form Post #24: Special Afternoon Treats at Rockhouse Bottoms Road and Blackwell Swamp

I am pleased to add the 24th of my GBH Brief Form Posts (Less than three minutes to read!) to my website. I tend to get a bit long-winded with my routine Posts. I don’t want my enthusiasm for thoroughness and detail to discourage readers. So I will publish these brief Posts regularly.


Brief-Form Post on my September 22, 2023, Excursion to Two Special Places at the Nearby Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge!


My primary purpose was to perform my first solitary forest bushwhacking into the riparian hardwood forest since my June 19, 2023, triple bypass surgery, a venture that I’ll cover separately with one of my routine GBH Posts.

Blackwell Swamp


In the interest of brevity, here are two images of my 4:14 PM stop along the southwest side of Blackwell Swamp. I don’t need to add narrative to the superlative images of bordering forests, swamp vegetation, water-borne reflections, and a sky meriting angelic chorales.



Rockhouse Bottoms


I drove along Rockhouse Bottoms Road, which runs along the Tennessee River (Lake Wheeler) shoreline. I snapped these images about 15 minutes after departing Blackwell Swamp. Again, I see no need to clutter the photos with my unnecessary narrative. The images alone speak volumes.














Cultivated corn fields managed under a US Fish and Wildlife Service Cooperative Farm Agreement border Rockhouse Bottoms Road. I recalled recording a 31-second video May 4, 2023 when the farmer sowed corn seed on the same field. I’ll call my timing for sowing and harvesting videos fortuitous…sometimes nothing trumps dumb luck!


Four and one half months later, punctuated by triple bypass surgery and bilateral hernia repair, I am rewarded with a chance to photograph and video record the harvest operation.

As the old timers observed, a lot of water flowed over the dam from May 4 to September 22. Here’s the 0:42 harvesting video.


On May 4, I had no indication that I was anything but heart-heathy. No chest pain or shortness of breath. I was blissfully ignorant of what lay ahead.


I accept the challenge of distilling these Brief-Form Posts into a single distinct reflection, a task far more elusive than assembling a dozen pithy statements. Today, I borrow a relevant reflection from John Muir, one of the truly great minds of conservation and environmental antiquity:

  • There are no accidents in Nature. Every motion of the constantly shifting bodies in the world is timed to the occasion for some definite, fore-ordered end. The flowers blossom in obedience to the same law that marks the course of constellations, and the song of a bird is the echo of a universal symphony. Nature is one, and to me the greatest delight of observation and study is to discover new unities in this all-embracing and eternal harmony.


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