March 25 and March 26, 2017 Pitcher Plant Bogs at Splinter Hill Bog, AL, and Buttercup Flats, MS
March 25 and March 26, 2017, Pitcher Plant Bogs at Splinter Hill Bog, AL, and Buttercup Flats, MS.
Join Trip Leader Rich Reaves for an impromptu (short-notice) weekend visit to two of the most spectacular pitcher plant seepage bogs found anywhere: Splinter Hill Bog in Alabama on Saturday, and Buttercup Flats in Mississippi on Sunday. We plan to see the White top Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia leucophylla) at the Alabama site, and Yellow Trumpets (Sarracenia alata) at the Mississippi location.
Saturday: (Splinter Hill Bog, AL)
Meet: at the Ruth McClellan Abronski Splinter Hill Bog Preserve Parking Area at 12 Noon Central Daylight Savings Time.
Directions: To Splinter Hill Bog: From I-65 Exit 45 (Perdido/Rabun) in Alabama, head west on County Rd. 47. for approx. 1.75 miles. The gravel parking area for the bog will be on your left shortly after you cross Dyas Creek.
Description: From the Nature Conservancy site for Splinter Hill:
“Located at the headwaters of the Perdido River along Dyas Creek, Splinter Hill Bog is home to a variety of habitats, from sandy upland longleaf pine forests to seepage bogs to inundated small stream swamp forests. Much of the site is covered by some of the largest and most visually impressive white-topped pitcher plant bogs in the world.”
After we finish at Splinter Hill, we may do a bit of roadside botanizing between Mobile and Moss Point. There is a nice Mexican restaurant at the Moss Pont exit where we can eat Saturday night.
Sunday: (Buttercup Flats Bogs, MS)
Meet: 8:00 CDT at the Hampton Inn at Exit 69 on I-10 (Moss Point, MS). We will then caravan to Buttercup Flats. Or: Meet us at Buttercup Flats between 9:00 and 9:30, CDT.
Directions to Buttercup Flats: From I-10 Exit 69 in Mississippi, turn north on HWY 63. Proceed to HWY 26 (approx.. 35 miles) in Lucedale and turn west on HWY 26. Proceed to the intersection with MS 15 (approx.. 23 miles) and park in the area on the southwest corner of the intersection.
Description: From the Mississippi Native Plant Society:
“Buttercup Flats is one of the world’s most famous pine savannahs and pitcher plant bogs. With more pitcher plants (mostly Sarracenia alata) than the eye can see, the place is rather awe-inspiring. Like most bogs, the site is also rich in many other herbs, including sundews, butterworts, bog buttons, meadow beauties, colic root, and the aptly named ‘bog cheetos.’ ”
I will attest that the numbers of S. alata at this site are absolutely jaw dropping – you will think you have seen more pitcher plants than you thought possible at Splinter Hill and then you get to Buttercup Flats and realize Saturday was just the warm up.
NOTE: These are seepage slopes and flatwoods – it will be wet and squishy.
Lunch: : Plan to eat lunch on your own prior to the visit to Splinter Hill, as we are starting late. A bag lunch is recommended for Sunday at Buttercup Flats.
Bring: camera, water and snacks, footwear suitable for the conditions (change of footwear is probably a good idea), bug repellent, sunscreen, hat. It will be turkey season, so orange is recommended even though there should not be any hunting at either location You may want walking sticks for balance.
Walking: moderate, but quite wet and squishy, as noted above. There are downed logs at Buttercup flats (recent beetle issue) that may need to be clambered over.
Facilities: convenience store at Exit 45 on I-65 near Splinter Hill location, convenience store at Bendale (about halfway from Lucedale to Buttercup Flats. None at either site.
Leader: Richard Reaves (770-827-5186); rich.reaves@attnet