Friday, April 3, 2015

Ocmulgee National Monument

What a cool spot this place is! In the heart of the city of Macon, Georgia lies this gem of an archeological site and natural area. It contains Mississippian earth mounds built about 1,000 years ago. We started our visit checking out the exhibits in the very retro visitor center.
visitor center
We then headed outside to check out the mounds. First though, we visited a Woodland shelter made out of palmetto leaves.
Noelle in woodland house
We then made our way over to the Earthlodge.
walking to mound
At one of the wayside exhibits I saw what I originally thought was a large beetle crawling on the grass. It turned out to be a small turtle!
turtle closeup
little turtle
Sierra enjoyed looking at the turtle fro a few minutes.
Sierra admires little turtle
Then we said goodbye to our little friend and went inside the Earthlodge. It was interesting and cool inside,
inside earth lodge
but a bit cramped and so we quickly made our way back out
Sierra heads towards the light
and into the sunshine.
Noelle heads out of lodge


As we started to continue on our tour a view opened up across a set of active railroad tracks to Great Temple Mound and the adjacent Lesser Temple Mound.
great mound
We continued on and climbed up to the top of Great Temple Mound for a nice view of downtown Macon.
on top of mound
We then headed down into a wetland area nearby.
wetland
Noelle on boardwalk
We saw some water insects and turtles,
turtle on log
as well as an egret wading in the water.
egret
Then our trail veered away from the wetlands onto a trail fringed by yellow flowers.
path
Soon we headed into the woods. The buckeye trees were in bloom
buckeye
and we saw a few lilies that I believe are likely non-natives.
lilly
We checked out Southeast Mound
Southeast Mound
and finished our hike on the  Bartram Trail
Bartram Trail
with a short road walk under an interesting railroad overpass that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
railroad tunnel
Upon returning to the car, we took a drive over to Funeral Mound to see the only major mound we had missed.
Funeral Mound
Then it was on to Atlanta and, unfortunately, traffic.                      

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