Following on from my last post of Blakeley, Alabama, the site was serenely quiet and tranquil. In 1865 the Civil War battle of Blakeley commenced. Ultimately 261 people died, hundreds were injured and over 3000 Confederate soldiers were captured by the Union. You can tour the battlefield, seeing the Confederate fortifications and other details. Prior to this sadness, Blakely had been occupied by the Apalachee who had fled their home in Florida after a British led Creek battle. Then it was chartered as the town of Blakeley by an early settler, Josiah Blakeley in 1814.
In the early days it was a thriving community but as I previously mentioned yellow fever and malaria killed so many people that the place was abandoned, to all intents and purposes. No one really knew what the cause of the illness was and it was referred to as “Bad Air”. Anyone who lives in the tropical south knows how oppressive a hot humid day can be but by comparison to Houston, the air seemed as fresh as a daisy.
There is a Calahaba Lily River Association – it is an aquatic plant found only in the south-east.
Wild or Louisiana Iris
The state symbol of Louisiana is the fleur-de-lis based on the real Iris above.
The residents seem peaceful these days…
Lady Blue Dasher with black lace wings
Battlegrounds often have a pervasive feeling of gloom but the wildlife has taken over most of the area leaving a sense of ‘life goes on’.
The lumberjack fairy
This is a lumberjack fairy in a fantastic tree root of a live oak in Blakeley, Alabama. Perhaps this fairy retreat provoked my recent addiction to fairy stories? Blakeley is located to the east of Mobile, Alabama and back in the day it had the best deep water access for the many ships coming to Alabama. It is now a historic state park and a ghost town. Both Mobile and Blakeley are in swampy delta areas – five rivers connect at the estuary. Yellow Fever was common in this area in the 1800s and when it first decimated the population at Blakeley, the remaining residents decided to move to Mobile or other areas. Unfortunately, there was yellow fever there too and there is a very sad cemetery in Mobile with tiny little graves. The survivors made it through and we have eradicated yellow fever in America although it is common in other tropical areas. It is a virus spread by mosquitoes. Next time you worry about a snake or a cougar, just think how many deaths the mosquito is responsible for.
No fairies but now you know a full grown lumberjack fairy can fit inside it
Where there is death there is life
Elder live oak
What a magnificent old gentleman, his branches graying with Spanish Moss. Live Oaks live for hundreds of years which worries me because we have one in our front garden that has grown from a 3 ft sapling to 50 ft in 14 years. Despite that, I love her and stroke her bark when I pass her. It gives me such pleasure to see the acorns in the leaf litter feeding all the critters. Click here for a fascinating story about her – One Sleep until Halloween
Celebrating Teddy’s 60th birthday at a rooftop hotel in Mobile, Alabama
…and he snores too. Teddy and I rarely travel together because of our elderly cat but made a special effort to go to a new place for his 60th birthday. When we married he was 24 years old and I can’t figure out how all this time has passed. Teddy went ahead of me and I arrived at Mobile Regional Airport on his birthday. He picked me up in a rental car and we went straight across the fabulous Mobile Bay causeway . Sometimes water that close to a roadway scares me but this was just sublime. We started looking for brown historical sites signs and starting learning the fascinating history of Mobile.
View from the original settlement of Blakely near Mobile. The city of Mobile is in the far distance.
This whole city, named Blakely, was abandoned after an epidemic of yellow fever in the 1800s and everyone moved to the new settlement of Mobile on the other side of the vast bay. Five rivers create a delta into the bay. From our busy metropolis, this was absolute bliss – very few people and polite drivers. We went to lunch at an Oyster place with a great view across the delta. After two glasses of wine I decided ‘we’ would drive to just over the border of Alabama into Florida. It was wonderful. Teddy and Bunny decided that there was no reason to change the habits of a lifetime and had a spat about which direction we should be going in… There was no cell phone service deep in the country and the GPS stopped working. By the time we had dinner in the rooftop restaurant of our hotel, all was bliss in Teddy and Bunny land. 🐻 🐰
Many more posts of a place less traveled and some funny stories.