Talladega National Forest

Iridescent splendor

Iridescent splendor

Transparent wings

Transparent wings

Ron and I took advantage of the cooler weather to head to Coleman Lake in the Talladega National Forest just 40 miles from home last week.  There is no cell reception there, plus thunderstorms were predicted for the weekend, so we only stayed three nights.  But what glorious days we had!

We met some lovely people there, and I embarrassed myself badly by being a terrible chatterbox.  When I meet people I REALLY like, I tend to do that.

Orange fringed orchid.

Orange fringed orchid. For a real eye treat, click to enlarge, then click the picture again to enlarge it even further. It’s gorgeous!

But most of the time was spent out exploring the trails and the beautiful show of jewels that nature provided.

I find I am starting to forget the names of plants.  I hope that it’s just from disuse, not from aging!  So I’ll present the pictures and allow you to caption the unlabeled ones as you’d like!  🙂

Wild sweet potato flower.  These were all over the place!

Wild sweet potato flower. These were all over the place!

Bracken fern.  This area felt almost primeval.

Bracken fern. This area felt almost primeval.

Milkweed pods

Milkweed pods

Flowers blooming from a crack in the bridge rail.

Flowers blooming from a crack in the bridge rail.

Waterbugs walking on water, each in their little dimple of surface tension.

Waterbugs walking on water, each in their little dimple of surface tension.





Swimming beach area

Swimming beach area

Our Casita

Our Casita








  1. Marcia GB in MA

     /  July 21, 2014

    What beautiful pictures, Sharon. The orange orchid is spectacular! It looks like the campground was quiet while you were there. I hope you can get out again soon.

    • Seeing the sun glinting off the dragonfly’s wings in iridescent copper and seeing that orange fringed orchard were the high points of the trip to me.

      Yes, the campground was quiet, but not empty. There were some very well behaved children there, too. The sites are so private that it sometimes seemed as though we had it to ourselves, though. 🙂

  2. cozybegone

     /  July 21, 2014

    Those water bugs bizarre….busy “beetles” 🙂
    One reminded me of bee balm but probably not. I always feel like I’ve been there when reading your post Sharon. Oh and those ferns…neato!

    • What got my attention about the bugs was the disturbance on the water when they run around. It was really roiling! I was surprise when I zoomed in and saw the little bugs! What fun to watch!

      I took several photos of the ferns. That area was other-worldly!

  3. Jan

     /  July 21, 2014

    Beautiful photos!

    • Thank you, Jan. I am planning to splurge on a new camera soon. It will be so wonderful to have a better camera that hopefully will also take better pictures! At least it will have a bigger zoom so I can capture subjects I can’t get close enough to.

  4. I was reading this post on my phone when your note came in on my post about the Oregon Gathering. I had to get out the laptop so I could enjoy your wonderful pictures on a bigger screen. Love the orange orchid but lots of the other pictures are wonderful too.

  5. jerryc

     /  July 21, 2014

    I didnt know the names of any of them, but beautiful photo’s of whatever they are. Glad to read of you getting out and about.

    • Thank you, too, Jerry. I was just bursting to get out. Don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t gotten that cool spell!

  6. Ruth Ann

     /  July 21, 2014

    Gorgeous dragonfly!!!!

    • Wasn’t he amazing, Ann? He was actually blue, but the way the sun reflected off his wings, he looked copper colored from that angle.

  7. You went camping! So happy to read this. the dragonfly is so cool and the orange orchid is just beautiful. I have never seen them before. Nice looking space you had.

    • Yes, Jo! We were just bursting to get out and it did us so much good. Since we have been there at different times of the year, we get to see the different things that are in season. It’s always sweetly familiar with lots of surprises!

  8. Loved seeing the fringed orchid…not seen one in such a long time! What a find! Enjoyed all the photos….could not identify some of the flowers. Glad you had a chance to take off. I heard the weather man say we would be having another cool spell soon. Maybe a chance for another get away?

    • Lynne, I had never seen one of the fringed orchids before. Had to comb the net to identify it. I was thrilled!

      My new camera should be delivered Friday or Monday and I am so anxious to get out and use it. If we get another cool spell after the 1st of the month, we will be out of here!

      Looking forward to hearing about your trip to Mt. Pisgah.

  9. Once again, you capture all the loveliness. Excited to see the results of your new camera.

    • Kim, that place intrigues me so. Such great plant diversity. It is like a different place every time we go… always different things in season. And yes, I am so excited about the new camera. Hopefully it will be here Friday!

  10. Horst

     /  July 23, 2014

    What a wonderful location…I’ve got it marked….and your photo’s are top shelf…framing for sure…the colors are really vivid…Glad you got a chance to camp, relax …..I am envious…thanks for sharing…Horst sends

    • Hi, Horst. Good to see you here. I was wondering how you were doing with those boys. 🙂

  11. David Kemp

     /  July 24, 2014

    I did not even know about the campground and I grew up in Birmingham. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful photos.

    • David, most of the people who camp there seem to be locals who return again and again. There are no reservations there. But if you go during the week you can always find a site. And if it is full on the weekends, there is a primitive overflow area.

      Hope you make it out there!

  12. David Kemp

     /  July 24, 2014

    My wife and I are starting our mod to change the sleeping arrangement in our SD17 to something similar to yours. We have elected to go with an eight inch memory foam bed from Amazon. Carol is a Dorcas and is going to sew the covers rather than use staples. I want to say thanks for sharing your mod with us all as it may have saved us thousands of dollars by not buying a larger camper. We are excited about having a seating area plus twin bed sleeping. Off to Blackrock Mountain next weekend to escape this Gulf Coast heat.

    • David, I think you will like the sewn bed covers better than my stapled version. I did sew my seating cushion covers, but I used 5″ foam and the seats aren’t terribly comfortable. Someday I will redo them with 4″ foam. Also, someday I may do the beds, but not anytime soon. 🙂

      Are you going to Blackrock State Park in GA? If you are, please let me know if the road up there is as scary as it sounds. We wanted to go there, but I let the description of the access road scare us off. Sure would like to get up there before it gets too cool!

      Have a wonderful time there!

  13. David Kemp

     /  July 25, 2014

    Sharon. This will be out third trip to Blackrock Mountain Georgia. It is so cool, and the campground is rustic in a good way. The showers are clean and due to the small size of the park they are close to all campsites. Blackrock is in an arid rain forest and the variety of flora is remarkable. When you go be sure to make the hike up to the summit where one may look out over five states and several mountain tops. Boots and pole are helpful, but not mandatory.The road up the mountain is twisty turny and steep, but we made it just fine with our Saturn Outlook 6 cyl. I drive a Chevy Avalanche now so towing is a breeze. Blackrock was our very first outing with the Casita so it is special to us. Be sure to visit the Firefox Heritage Museum.

    • David, THANK YOU for that fantastic information! I’ve already made reservations close-by for next week, otherwise we would go in August. But it is definitely on my list now… if not for this year, then definitely next!

      We have a 6 cylinder Silverado, so it should make that road okay.

      Thanks again!!!

  14. So happy to see another post from you – have missed them. Felt like we were on a stroll together. Thanks, Sharon.

    • So good to see you here, Judy!

      We are planning another nearby camping trip this coming week since the weather is going to be a little cooler. I am sure looking forward to all the little discoveries of nature we’ll make!

  15. What a beautiful place!! I am afraid I don’t know the names of many flowers only that I love them. Such beautiful pics!! So glad you guys were able to get away. We went back to Chewacla this past week. It was hot but if you park in the shade and point the fan at yourself you do survive. It was worth it!! Fall is coming 🙂 🙂

    • I just read your Chewacla post. So glad the doggies adapted to the new arrangement. And I will be using your idea of the fan outdoors on our trip later this week!

      I am hoping against hope that I find good mushrooms at Lake Allatoona. Was hoping to find some at Coleman, but it didn’t pan out. Just in case, I am packing my dehydrator again!

  16. bonnie

     /  July 28, 2014

    Again Sharon, thanks for sharing your lovely pictures.

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