|(You can click on any photo to enlarge for better viewing)|
A sense of peace and tranquility surrounds Briarwood, the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, near Saline, Louisiana, even when my husband and I arrived for the annual picnic to find cars parked up and down the road.
A trip to Briarwood Nature Preserve takes you to a place where one woman's values and principles are evidenced in everything seen.
“Miss Carrie,” as Caroline Dormon was known to friends and family, was a cousin of my husband’s grandfather so we try to attend the annual picnics. An added bonus is getting to visit with some of the other Edgertons who attend this event. My husband met Caroline Dormon when he was young and the family visited Briarwood for a family reunion.
Southern Living Magazine, July 1992
“The unpretentious unconventional woman lived most of her 83 years in a log house set amongst secluded woodlands in a remote area of northeasternmost Natchitoches Parish. Often beset by financial stress, she resorted to such humble and mostly unsuccessful ventures as offering summer camps for girls or selling home-canned products. Yet she gained world renown as a conservationist, naturalist, botanist, artist, historian, author, student of Indian lore and collector of native plants. Louisiana State University awarded her an honorary Doctor of Science Degree.”
Forest and People Magazine, 3rd Quarter, 1990
Caroline Dormon devoted her life to preserving the flora and fauna found at Briarwood and planted many more species on the land. Today over 7,000 species of plants have been recorded at Briarwood, and it's not surprising that one goal of the non-profit group that oversees this nature preserve is to teach the value of native plants in the landscape and their potential for medical use.
As Ricky and I wandered the trails around Briarwood, we took photos to help remember this day.
|path through the wildflower meadow|
|lily (still trying to remember which one)|
|The aroma of the white native azalea filled the path|
|Illicium floridanum (also known as purple anise, Florida anise, stink-bush, or star-anise)|
an evergreen shrub native to the south-eastern United States
especially Florida and Louisiana. Smells like a wet dog!
|Sign at the pond|
|Old sign identifying tree|
|Love the texture of this bark|
|There's a writer's cabin on the premises for people doing research related to Briarwood.|
I felt the same way--experiencing delight and disbelief-- at the natural wonders that Briarwood provides to visitors.
- Flowers Native to the Deep South, Dormon’s book of wildflowers (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1958; 2nd printing, 1999)
- The Gift of the Wild Things: The Life of Caroline Dormon, by Fran Holman. (Lafayette, La: The Center for Louisiana Studies, 1990)
- Adventures in Wild Flowers: The Timeless Writings of Caroline Dormon, editor Fran Holman (Catawba Publishing, 2010)