Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center

Cay Creek Freshwater Wetlands Liberty County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center is one of the best day trips in Coastal Georgia. Located at 189 Charlie Butler Road in Midway, the center has ample parking, picnic tables, and a boardwalk which covers several different ecosystems. It’s a place for reflection, as well as a haven for amateur naturalists, birdwatchers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Best of all, it’s free and open to everyone, through the daylight hours seven days a week. There isn’t an actual “center” as yet, but excellent interpretive signs located along the boardwalk provide ample information about the environment and its inhabitants.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Freshwater Swamp in Transitional Coastal Wetland Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Your walk begins in a freshwater tidal swamp, full of oak, cypress, and bay trees. Irises were already sprouting in January (below).

Cay Creek Wetlands Liberty County GA Cypress Knees Iris Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

As the boardwalk reaches the observation tower, the freshwater swamp is intermingled with salt water. Almost a third of the tidal salt marshes on the Atlantic Coast are located in Georgia, along with many freshwater tidal swamps and marshes. Only specific plants are able to thrive in salt water environments, so the plant life begins to change, if subtly, in this zone.

Cay Creek Wetlands Intepretive Center Midway GA Boardwalk from Observation Tower Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

A short walk up the observation deck affords a birds eye view.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Wetlands Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Just past the observation tower, the transition becomes more obvious, as marsh grasses begin to dominate the hammocks.

Cay Creek Brackish Marsh Intertidal Swamp Wetland Liberty County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

In winter, you’ll see the red berries of native hollies (Ilex).

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Native Holly Ilex Berries Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The last stretch of the boardwalk opens into brackish marsh, with the transitional swamp and marsh visible in the background.

Cay Creek Wetlands Liberty County GA Boardwalk Natural Area Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Here, you’re surrounded by marsh grasses and can smell the salt in the air.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Intertidal Transitional Wetland Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Native cedars, often covered in lichen, are scattered around the marsh.

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Native Cedar Coastal Wetland Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

This is the view at the end of the boardwalk. You’ll want to return!

Cay Creek Liberty County GA Protected Wetland Intertidal Zone Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Raymond Cay (1803-1885), namesake of Cay’s Creek.

Raymond Cay Namesake of Cays Creek Midway Liberty County GA Historic Image Photograph Via Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

This was originally known as Salter’s Creek but was changed in honor of Raymond Cay’s nearby plantation.

Midway, Georgia

Leave a comment

Filed under -LIBERTY COUNTY, Midway GA

18th Century Tympanic Icons of Midway Cemetery

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Slate Headstone of James Wilson Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympana are the semi-circular arches atop early headstones, usually featuring an iconic relief sculpture. In early America, the most common of these icons is the “winged death” head, usually represented as a cherubic face or skull above a pair of wings. New England churchyards and burying grounds abound with these earliest forms of American sculpture, but they’re rarities in the Deep South. Charleston has the largest concentration, with other examples scattered around the low country of South Carolina; Savannah has a few examples but Midway has the best variety in Georgia.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Slate Winged Death Tympanum of James Wilson Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the James Wilson stone. Slate. Date of death not visible, as the headstone is half-buried (see first photo).

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Nimbus Tympanum of Elisabeth Way 1795 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Elisabeth Way stone, 1792. Sandstone. In regards to design, this is the most important headstone at Midway. In Early Gravestone Art of Georgia & South Carolina (UGA Press, Athens, 1986), Diana Williams Combs wrote: “As far as I know, the nimbus has not been employed elsewhere during this period of American gravestone art. In this context it emphasizes the salvation of the deceased.”

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Susanna Stacy 1780 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Susanna Stacy stone, 1780. Slate.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Margaret Stacy 1792 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Margaret Stacy stone, 1792. Slate.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Miss Sarah Winn 1767 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Sarah Winn stone, 1767. Slate.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Sarah Stevens 1767 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Sarah Stevens stone, 1767. Slate

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Cherub Tympanum of James Osgood 1793 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the James Osgood stone, 1793. Marble.

Midway Congregational Church Liberty County GA Brick Cemetery Wall US Highway 17 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

There’s always a nice view of Midway Congregational Church (1792) across US Highway 17 from the famous brick wall surrounding the cemetery.

National Register of Historic Places

Midway, Georgia

3 Comments

Filed under -LIBERTY COUNTY, Midway GA

Black Island Creek

Black Island Creek GA McIntosh County Fog Marsh Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

There was a thick fog on the mainland side of Black Island Creek looking toward Black Island.

Black Island Creek McIntosh County GA High Tide Sunrise Fog Clouds Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

McIntosh County, Georgia

1 Comment

Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Black Island GA

Christmas at Ashantilly

Ashantilly Old Tabby Thomas Spalding William Haynes Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Ashantilly is a center of cultural life in McIntosh County and one of its biggest events is its annual Christmas open house.

Ashantilly Christmas Tree Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Ashantilly Darien GA Christmas Decor Toys Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Ashantilly Darien GA Christmas Decorations Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Ashantilly Darien GA Historic Old Tabby House Christmas Decorations Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 20143

Ashantilly Old Tabby Darien GA Christmas Decorations Santa's Chair Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

McIntosh County, Georgia

http://ashantilly.org/blog/?page_id=2

3 Comments

Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Darien GA

Cast Net Shrimping

Sapelo Island GA Cast Net Fisherman Shrimping Folklife Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Sapelo Island, Georgia

2 Comments

Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Sapelo Island GA

Southern Soul Barbeque

Southern Soul Barbeque Smoke Joint St Simons Island GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

I rarely feature open businesses on any of my websites, but some places are so extraordinary they deserve a mention. One such place is the unlikely St. Simons landmark, Southern Soul Barbeque. You might have read about in Garden & Gun, Southern Living, or The New  York Times, or seen it on the Travel Channel, or the popular Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. But none of those outlets can compare to a visit in the flesh. Owners Griffin Bufkin and Harrison Sapp transformed this 1940s gas station into a mecca for barbeque and soul food lovers and their fans are legion. There’s a great beer selection and a good variety of sauces for different tastes.

Southern Soul Barbeque Pulled Pork Plate Mac Cheese Collard Greens St Simons Island GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Everyone probably has his own favorite dish. Mine is the first meal I ever ate here. The pulled pork with mac & cheese and collard greens was truly heaven on a plate. The white bread was a fitting accompaniment to this holy trinity of Southern cuisine.

Southern Soul Barbeque Restaurant St Simons Island GA Cool Pit Cook Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

You know it’s going to be good when the employees who work in the heat and smoke all day still have a smile on their faces.

Southern Soul Barbeque St Simons Island GA Food Writing Books Cornbread Nation SFA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Books like the Southern Foodways Alliance’s classic series, Cornbread Nation, take up shelf space with modern culinary classics ranging from The Whole Hog Cookbook and Southern Belly to  Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey and Smoke and Pickles. As a reader and book collector, I was amazed!

Southern Soul Barbeque St Simons Island GA Patrons Inside Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

St. Simons Island, Georgia

http://www.southernsoulbbq.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SouthernSoulBBQ

6 Comments

Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, St. Simons Island GA

Juvenile White Ibis

Juvenile White Ibis Darien GA Waterfront Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

This young bird was spotted in Waterfront Park.

Darien, Georgia

1 Comment

Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Darien GA