“Drifting Into Darien” By Janisse Ray

~Highway 17 bridge over the Darien River (McIntosh County, Georgia)~

~Highway 17 bridge over the Darien River (McIntosh County, Georgia)~

Image posted with permission of the photographer, Mike McCall.

See more of Mike McCall’s photographs below, and at Lightmotif and Flickr.


The Darien River is a 10-mile-long tidal river in coastal Georgia (near the town of Darien) that is part of the large complex of salt marshes surrounding the mouth of the Altamaha River. Highway 17 runs right through this complex of marshes.


The Altamaha River National Conservation Estuary

~(Google map found here – click on the map image to see larger version, credit: The Marine Ecosystem Dynamics Modeling Laboratory at the School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts- Dartmouth)~


If you’d like a wonderful and insightful read about a river – I highly recommend Janisse Ray’s book about the Altamaha River, “Drifting into Darien”.

I don’t know about any of you, but I once fell in love with a river – the New River in southwest Virginia. I still love that river. So what was clear to me in “Drifting into Darien” is that Ray is madly and passionately in love with the Altamaha, and my guess is that you will be too by the end of the book. You’ll also feel grateful that The Nature Conservancy has worked to protect 100,000 acres of the lower Altamaha Basin.


Drifting into Darien:  A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River by Janisse Ray

The University of Georgia Press, 2011


From the University of Georgia Press website:

The Altamaha rises dark and mysterious in southeast Georgia. It is deep and wide, bordered by swamps. Its corridor contains an extraordinary biodi­versity, including many rare and endangered species, which led the Nature Conservancy to designate it as one of the world’s last great places.

The Altamaha is Ray’s river, and from childhood she dreamed of paddling its entire length to where it empties into the sea. Drifting into Darien begins with an account of finally making that journey, turning to medita­tions on the many ways we accept a world that contains both good and evil. With praise, biting satire, and hope, Ray contemplates transformation and attempts with every page to settle peacefully into the now.

…Ray goes looking for wisdom and finds a river.

~Darien River by photographer Mike McCall~

~Darien River by photographer Mike McCall~

~Darien River by photographer Mike McCall~

~Darien River by photographer Mike McCall~