Monday, October 9, 2017  (Columbus Day), Blackjack Crossing Nature Conservancy Preserve,  Talbot County

Posted under: Middle Georgia .

Meet: 10:00 at the intersection of US 80 and GA 96 in Geneva.

Description:  Blackjack Crossing is a Nature Conservancy Preserve in the Fall Line sandhills of West-Central Georgia.  Wildflower season in the sandhills is in the autumn and we should see good displays of typical sandhill species, including elegant blazing star (Liatris elegans), the protected sandhill goldenaster (Pityopsis pinifolia), sandhill wild-buckwheat (Eriogonum tomentosum), the rare Michaux’s Whitlow-wort (Paronychia herniarioides ), at least two species of jointweed (Polygonella) and a variety of other fall wildflowers, especially in the Aster family.  This is also a good time for grasses, including lopsided Indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum), sandhills dropseed  (Sporobolus junceus), and two species of wiregrass (Aristida).  We will walk over a sandhill to a seepage bog that has another unique set of plants.  There we will look for sweet pitcher plant (Sarracenia rubra) and parrot pitcher plant (Sarracenia psittacina), as well as sundews (Drosera) and other unique bog plants.  All of this will be in a setting of rolling hills, longleaf pine and the occasional gopher tortoise burrow.

Directions to Meeting Location: The entrance to Blackjack Crossing can be hard to find, so we will meet at the USA Gas station at the intersection of US80 and GA 96 in Geneva, then caravan to the field trip site.

Bathroom Facilities: None at Blackjack Crossing. 

Walking Difficulty: Easy.  We’ll be on deep sand roads at first, and then do some off-trail walking (crossing a field).  The bog is a sensitive area, so we will restrict access to the edges and just a few visitors at a time.  Total walking distance will be less than 1.5 miles

Bring: Hand lens, water, snacks, curiosity.  Dress for the weather. The sandhills can be very bright, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses can be useful.

Trip Leader: Hal Massie, 478-957-6095 (cell reception is fair in the area)