Monday, May 29, 2017, Mountain Wetlands in the Shadow of Brasstown Bald, Union & Towns Counties

Posted under: North Carolina; North Georgia .

Field Trip Leaders:  Rich Reaves and Hal Massie 

Botsoccers and Green Pitcher Plants at Reed Branch Wet Meadow

Description:  Monday’s trip will be a relaxed visit to three different wetland sites – the Eller Seep in North Carolina, Reed Branch Preserve, and a stream near Young Harris.  At the Eller Seep, just barely across the North Carolina line, we’ll see the Federally Endangered green pitcher plant, Sarracenia oreophila, as well as other mountain bog plants. It probably won’t be in flower, but we’ll see an odd member of the rose family, Canada burnet, Sanguisorba canadensis, that is only known from one county back in Georgia. The second site will be back across the state line – Reed Branch Wet Meadow Preserve. Both the Ellis Seep and Reed Branch are owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. Reed Branch has a much larger population of green pitcher plants than Ellis Seep, along with a good number of wildflowers that prefer wet meadows. Our last stop, after lunch, will be to a small stream near the town of Young Harris and adjoining the Brasstown Valley Resort. This will be an exploratory trip where we have seen interesting plants on scouting trips in the past. Roads near the wetland are consistent sites for American Columbo, Frasera caroliniensis.

Location:  We will start in Hiawassee, head north to the Eller Seep, which is just inside North Carolina, then drive back into Georgia for a quick stop at the Reed Branch Preserve. After Reed Branch, we will head back into Hiawassee for a leisurely lunch. After lunch we will travel west on Hwy 76 to an interesting stream site near the Brasstown Valley Resort, just outside of Young Harris.

Meet : 10:00  am at the Ingles in Hiawassee (94 N Main St, Hiawassee). Ingles is on the north side of the highway, just east of the Hwy 76 and Hwy 75 split.

Bathroom Facilities: In Hiawassee, none at any of the wetlands. 

Walking Difficulty: Easy. We will make short walks from the vehicles to the wetlands. The longest walk will only be 200 yards.

Bring: Snacks, & water.  For those who are interested, we will eat at a Mexican Restaurant in Hiawassee.  Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes. It is possible that we might get our feet a little wet or muddy. You may wish to bring a hand lens, notebook, and camera. 

Contact: Rich Reaves (770-827-5186) or Hal Massie (478-957-6095)