On Wednesday, I took a day off from gardening and went on a nature hike with some local Master Gardeners. Cane Creek Canyon Preserve is located in Colbert County (which neighbors my county to the south), just south of Tuscumbia. The property is owned by a couple who have accumulated over 400+ acres over the years and founded this conservatory which is fascinating. I'd been hearing about it for years but this was my first trip. Our mission was to scope out wildflowers, which I admit I know very little about. Deep ravines, gorges, caves, waterfalls and huge boulders cover the property and hundreds of wildflowers and native shrubs flourish. Some plants can only be found in this area. The trees had not leafed out yet and the azaleas were just budding so I hope I can make another trip and take more photos in a few weeks.
The trek was not for the weary or the faint-of-heart. There were all terrain vehicles to carry those around who couldn't climb the steep hills. By the end of the day, I was ready for one. This is the first large waterfall which is located close to the entrance to the canyon.
I wonder how many of us would have ventured to the edge of this rock had we known that it was basically suspended in the air like this -
The most incredible view is from this cliff. You can see almost 2 miles in the distance.
Notice how this tree grows around the rock. I also saw oakleaf hydrangeas growing out of rocks with no soil at all. It was quite amazing.
A cave and waterfall -
One of the huge boulders on the property. The gray-haired gentlemen is the owner of the property.
Our destination - lunch!
The creek -
Notice the roots on this tree!
Now for the wildflowers. This trillium and phlox were growing together.
Trilliums were everywhere -
Here's one of the plants that only grow in this area - American Columbo -
Rue anenome growinging in a rock -
Yellow Trout Lily -
This was called the Boulder Garden. It consisted of a large grouping of giant boulders covered on the top with wildflowers.