We always wanted to canoe in the Pine Barrens, and finally we strapped it on the Subaru and headed out to an area that had promise. The Mullica River looked enticing with its many bends and its remote location. It is so easy to go canoeing once it is on the car and we know where to go. We found this river on a map and the canoe dock by accident.
We generally go pretty slow, and make very little distance, being that we are on the lookout for scenes of botanical interest. Author and photographer Brian Solomon, pictured above, was amused whenever we got excited about a plant we recognized along the shore. We steered the canoe towards the plants and took our time. There were beaches along the river, and we stopped and walked around the land, looking at blueberry bushes and the blooming Swamp Azalea, Rhododendron viscosum.
This is the woodland scene near the parking lot, richly vegetated with understory blueberry.
Sandy beaches remind us of this land being an ocean beach in a fairly recent geological past.
Finding the blooming Swamp Azalea was memorable. We have two in our garden and have never seen one in its natural habitat. The flowers filled the air with an enchanting aroma, and there was a frenzy of excitement over the discovery. The canoe was rowed towards the edge of the river to get a closer look. We posed with the shrub. Above, Isabelle is posing with the blooming Rhododendron viscosum flowers above.