A Chattahoochee Morning

After a grueling workweek - several 14-hour days - a sunrise stroll along the Chattahoochee River was just what the doctor ordered. The serene landscape and flowing water instantly instill tranquility. Light fog rising wispily above the water on a cool fall morning resembles mystical creatures with magical powers. While watching the fog rise, I thought about the history of the river. 

The Chattahoochee River has played a key role in the history of Georgia. Paleolithic and Woodland Indians called it home. The Cherokee and Creek used the river as a border, first between their Nations, then between themselves and early settlers. The Cherokee had named the river "Chota," which was also the name of a town in the Nacoochee Valley. When the river flowed into Creek territory, it became the "Chattahoochee." When the Cherokees were forced out of their homeland, the name "Chota" disappeared with them. The Chattahoochee, though, carried on.

In its watershed, the first great American Gold Rush (1828 - 1840) occurred. Crossing the river was a major accomplishment for William Tecumseh Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War. In addition, the noted Georgian poet Sidney Lanier commemorated the beauty of the Chattahoochee River in an epic poem, The Song of the Chattahoochee (1877). Today, it helps grow peanuts and cotton in southwest Georgia, powers turbines, and flushes every toilet in Atlanta.

Rivers typically meander and change course over time. However, the Chattahoochee River is one of the oldest and most stable river channels within the United States. It is essentially "locked" in place, flowing along the Brevard Fault Zone, which is the dividing line between the Appalachian Mountains and the Piedmont Plateau. The fault itself serves as a natural barrier to movement. The Brevard Fault, which cuts diagonally from northeast Georgia to Alabama, is probably the Chattahoochee's most important geological feature and has contributed much to the scenic beauty of the river, both above and below Atlanta.

This morning’s photos of picturesque nature scenery were taken at Cochran Shoals/Powers Island, part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River. It begins at Lake Lanier's Buford Dam, near Buford, Georgia, and continues downstream through four counties to Peachtree Creek near downtown Atlanta.


  1. Cochran/Shoals? Must be a great place, especially the Cochran part!! Wonderful picture!!

  2. Mama Cochran...you should come over with a canvas and paint it ;-)!



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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.