Monday, October 13, 2014 10:00 AM, Black Creek Wildlife Management Area, Taylor County

Posted under: South Georgia .

Elegant Blazing Star, Liatris elegans

Elegant Blazing Star, Liatris elegans

Trip Leader: Hal Massie

Description: Black Creek WMA (formerly Black Creek Natural Area) is in the sandhills of West Central Georgia. Fall is the best wildflower season in the sandhills and many unique species, especially members of the aster family, should be in flower. Black Creek Natural Area is managed with prescribed fire and we will be able to see the impact of recent fires on sandhill plants. Target species will include sandhills golden-aster (Pityopsis pinifolia), and Pickering’s dawnflower (Stylisma pickeringii var. pickeringii), both protected plants. We should also find sandhill specialties like Michaux’s Whitlow-wort (Paronychia herniarioides), elegant blazing-star (Liatris elegans), and lopsided Indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum). If we have time and a couple of 4-wheel drive vehicles, we’ll enter the edge of a large bog containing many sweet pitcher plants (Sarracenia rubra) as well as one of the rarest plants in Georgia, tawny cottongrass (Eriophorum virginicum).

Directions: Take US 19 south to Butler. Pass through the town on US 19 to the light at the intersection of US 19 and GA 96. Turn right onto GA 96 and go approximately 7 miles. You will pass Culverhouse Rd. and Grace Mill Rd. The next three roads to the right (Brown, Watson, and the other end of Brown) all lead to the small village of Howard. If you are coming from the south, take US 19 north to the intersection with GA 96 and turn left and then use the directions above.

Pineleaf or sandhill goldenaster, Pityopsis pinifolia

Pineleaf or sandhill goldenaster, Pityopsis pinifolia

Meet At: We will meet across the road from the post office in Howard, then carpool to Black Creek WMA. Black Creek WMA has limited parking and deep sand roads. We will carpool from Howard using the vehicles with highest clearance.

Facilities: None.

Walking: We’ll be walking on old sand logging roads. Walking will be fairly easy, but the sand will be deep at times and it could be hot. We may walk into the edge of a bog, which will be mucky. Total walking for the day shouldn’t exceed 2 miles, less if we have the proper vehicles.

Bring: Hat, bug spray, hand lens, water and food. A little bit of curiosity and good humor won’t hurt. Bring a lunch – we’ll try to eat near the vehicles, but be prepared to carry your food. A picnic blanket or some other cover to sit on is recommended.
Leader: Hal Massie
478-957-6095 (cell, will be on the morning of the hike)

Photos by Hal Massie