In an area that is now famously known as "S*** Town" thanks to the wildly popular NPR podcast, the Cahaba NWR is a really special natural place. Even if it's in an area you wouldn't necessarily expect. The Cahaba River is home to more species of fish than ALL of California, but it's best known for the lily that bears its name.
The Cahaba lily blooms every May-June along the river. People drive from all over to come see them bloom. The shoals inside the wildlife refuge are the best place to see them. No picture will ever do these stands justice. It's something you need to see in person if you can.
I took the family to see them. It was a great excuse to spend time outside together, and our dog (instagram.com/theadventuresausage) loves it there. We hung out along the banks, played in the edge of the water, and just enjoyed exploring.
I always seem to find the strangest creatures in the refuge. We found strange spiders, weird crickets, an a lizard that looked like a baby alligator on this trip.
Make time to visit this unique place. Carry your bathing suit, wear water shoes or flip flops, and go explore like you did when you were a child.