Saturday, June 14, 2008

Part I, Day 3: 080611

The first day of collecting. Sadly, not an auspicious start. Northern Georgia contains few amphipods, it seems. Our first several sites yielded only rock and silt, including our first lake, Carters Lake in the south-eastern corner of Murray County.

Disappointed, we continued along the secondary highways of northern Georgia’s Appalachian foothills and highlands. The views were nice, but we only found one site with anything to get. Under a bridge over Talking Rock Creek I picked up a few gyrinid beetles (whirligigs) and a handful of snails. Despite the promising submerged vegetation and accessible muck, we found no crustaceans.

Other sites later in the day were completely devoid of animals in our nets. Creeks, rivers, lakes, all yielded decaying leaves, algae crud, and / or just sand. Northern Georgia, to reiterate, has few amphipods.

Late in the afternoon, we found ourselves just outside Milledgeville (below a hydroelectric dam), and headed into town to find some promisingly-named sites to the south and east. However, Milledgeville is a strange and confusing place, with contradictory signage and odd street names. Eventually we escaped to Macon, where we promptly got on Interstate 16 East to get ourselves off of the Piedmont plateau. Tonight we’re at the Comfort Inn in Dublin, which is pretty close to the geographic center of Georgia. Apparently, something called the Bike Ride Across Georgia (“BRAG”) is in town, so we had a bit of trouble finding a motel room. But, not too shabby, and we’re looking forward to hitting the swamps and meandering rivers of eastern coastal Georgia tomorrow.

The hydroelectric dam just north of the horribly tangled town of Milledgeville, Georgia

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