Twelve years ago tomorrow, to be exact, I was standing in the middle of Turkey Creek behind the tripod bracketing this shot around f8/11 and a fourth of a second. Saying goodbye to the Spring Line and congratulating myself on the joys of another April racing north into the forests, chasing after leaf buds, trying to catch up with the early wildflowers racing ahead of everybody.
I once had a long conversation, not far from this spot, with a descendent of the Helton family one of many displaced from this area by the National Forest 75 years ago. The old schoolhouse stood a few dozen yards to my left. About a half mile upstream their church stood on the hill; the graveyard still survives. There was a mill and millpond on Cooper Creek around the corner, stores and blacksmith shops, and a thriving community of close knit families. And maybe a little bootleg whiskey on the side to make ends meet. Nowadays, on a quick pass thru, none of this is apparent.
Today, Turkey Creek is still an unassuming and quietly wonderful place. It's consistently shallow, a fun place to wade for great distances in rubber boots. It's splendid habitat for trout lily in the Spring and grass-of-parnassus in the Fall. Both like damp soils and seem to be magnetized to the Creek.
How great this is for a caring photographer seeking a day or two away from metropolis. Yet, I never forget the school over there and the church on the hill. I hear their voices, their songs and sounds of living mingling with the spirits of the forest. I visit their ground with humility and respect, remembering they too loved Turkey Creek in the Spring.
Title: © Turkey Creek. r0585-22
Series: Water Scenes
Location: Cooper Creek WMA
Union County, Georgia
Date: Saturday 1 May 1993