January 17, 2015, Winter Woody Walk, Big Trees Forest Preserve, Fulton County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Meet:  10:00 am

Description:  A casual stroll among deciduous hardwood trees and shrubs will give us plenty of opportunity to practice our woody plant identification using bark, old leaves, and bare twigs.

Directions:   Meet in the parking lot at 7645 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30350.

Facilities:  A newly opened restroom at meeting site.

Walking:  Easy, wear sturdy shoes.

Bring:  Water, snacks, camera, notebook.

Trip Leader:   Ellen Honeycutt, ehoneycutt@bellsouth.net, 678-576-5667


January 24, 2015, Sawtooth Trail, FDR State Park, Harris County

Posted under: Middle Georgia.

Trip Leader:  Hal Massie

Meet: 10:00 AM

Description: The Sawtooth Trail is a side trail of the better-known Pine Mountain Trail in FDR State Park.  There won’t be a lot in flower at this time of year (but, we might be surprised), so the highlights for this trip will be old-growth montane longleaf pine, shortleaf pine and outcrops of Hollis quartzite.  We’ll discuss the geology and ecology of this unique ridge which runs west to east in the Piedmont just 25 miles north of the Coastal Plain.  We should have good views of the Pine Mountain Valley and Oak Mountain to the south.  The Sawtooth Trail follows the contours of the Pine Mountain ridge just below the crest, which accounts for its name.

Directions: From Atlanta, take I-85 South to I-185 South (Exit 21).  Continue south on I-185 to Exit 42 (US 27).  Go south on US 27 to the town of Pine Mountain.  At the south end of Pine Mountain, turn left at the light on to GA 354 (Chevron Station on the corner to the left).  Go about 3 miles on GA 354, past the Liberty Bell pool in FDR State Park.  When you see the rock bridge ahead, turn right on to the connector ramp up to GA 190.  Turn left on to GA 190, cross the bridge and go about 1 mile to the Fox Den Cove parking lot, which will be the first trailhead parking lot on the left side of the road.

Meet At:  Fox Den Cove Trailhead parking lot in FDR State Park. (Note that an annual or daily parking pass is required of all vehicles in state parks.)  We will leave half of our vehicles at Fox Den Cove and take the rest to the Mollyhugger Hill parking lot which is 2.1 miles, by road, to the east.

Facilities: None.

Walking:   This is an easy trail, with one moderate uphill section.  The trail is rocky and may be covered in wet leaves or pinestraw in places.  Trail distance is 2.7 miles on the Sawtooth Trail and .2 miles on the Pine Mountain Trail, for a total of 2.9 miles.

Bring:  Dress for the weather and bring a lunch to eat on the trail.  Bug spray will not be necessary!

Leader:  Hal Massie,  478-957-6095 (Cell, will be on the morning of the hike.)     massiefarm@aol.com


January 31, 2015, Deserts and Mountains Presentations, Suwanee, GA, Gwinnett County

Posted under: Atlanta area; Slide Show.

Description:   A Bot Soc tradition we are reviving.  A midwinter gathering to enjoy special trip photos of flora and fauna and tales of longer journeys taken in the last year.

Travel to the Southwest desert with Rich and Anita Reaves in March 2013. They led a group of intrepid BotSoccers on this Sonoran adventure to see annual desert blooms.  Susan Caster journeyed along the Pacific Crest Trail between April and July 2013.  She started in San Diego and continued through the Sierra and Cascade Mountain on to Canada, completing this journey of 2600+ miles in under 5 months.

Susan and Rich will share their gorgeous photos of scenary, flora and fauna as well as their memories of the west. Come share these two marlevous journeys. Then enjoy a pot luck lunch together and talk with friends old and new.

Bring: your favorite pot luck dinner to share.  Drinks will be provided.

Time and Location:  10:00 am  Suwanee, GA  Gwinnett County:

Jim and Candee Drake will host the event in the very comfortable media room at their home:

3800 Hickory Branch Trail

Suwanee, GA 30024

Contact Info: drake3800@charter.net

678 482-2127 – home

678-793-2127- cell

Directions: From I-85 take Suwanee exit 111, Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. to go northwest toward Suwanee for ~ 0.7 mi. Turn right onto Satellite Blvd and travel 0.9mi to turn left onto Smithtown Rd. Then travel 0.8 mi to turn right ( across from tree farm) onto Westbrook Rd. Travel 0.7 mi to turn right onto Ridge Rd. Travel 0.6 mi to turn left onto Hickory Branch Trail (Olde Branch sub-division). After 100 ft, turn left on Hickory Brach Trail (again). 3800 is down the hill.

From Peachtree Industrial Blvd, travel southeast on Suwanee Dam Rd (GA Hwy 317) for 1.6 mi. Turn Left onto Smithtown Rd and travel 0.9 mi to turn left onto Westbrook Rd and follow directions above.

For additional directions, please contact Jim Drake at the above email or phone number.


February 7, 2015, Granitic-Outcrop Lichens, Davidson – Arabia Mountain Park, DeKalb County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Introduction to granitic-outcrop lichens, Saturday, February 7, 2015, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Description:  Join the Georgia Botanical Society and amateur lichenologists Sean Beeching and Malcolm Hodges for a leisurely paced hike up and around the mountain to observe the abundance and diversity of lichens there.  Lichens occupy almost every substrate, including gneiss exposures, bare soil, shrub and tree branches, and even the stems of spikemosses! We will concentrate on identification of common lichens and making lichen study accessible to the beginner.

Location:  South Parking Lot, 1 mile south of the Park Visitor Center

Facilities: portable toilet in parking lot, indoor bathroom in Visitor Center

Difficulty:  Moderate with some fairly steep, but short, ascents and descents.

Bring:  A lunch and water to carry along and we will picnic in the forest.  Please try to bring a hand lens (10 power is best) or some kind of magnifier to better observe small lichens. Please dress in layers for the weather, with the caveat that windy days can feel windier on the exposed outcrop.

Limit: 20

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Please contact Malcolm Hodges at mhodges@tnc.org if you are planning on joining this trip.

Directions: Take I-20 east of the I-285 perimeter to the Evans Mill Rd. exit (exit 74 coming from Atlanta). Turn south on Evans Mill Rd., which turns into Woodrow Dr. Drive south on Woodrow Dr. until a T intersection with Klondike Rd., and turn right. Klondike Rd. goes through a traffic circle, then you will pass the Davidson – Arabia Mt. Visitor’s Center on the right. After passing the Goddard Rd. intersection on the right, watch closely for a left turn into the South Parking Lot. Call Malcolm Hodges’ cell at 770-776-9194 if you get lost.

Contact: Malcolm Hodges, mhodges@tnc.org

February 14, 2015, Basic Plant ID Workshop, Gaskins Forest Education Center, Alapaha, GA, Berrien County

Posted under: South Georgia.

Meet: 10:00 am, at the Gaskins Forest Education Center, 3359 Moore Sawmill Rd, Alapaha, GA, 31622

Field Trip Leader:  Bobby Hattaway

Description:  Pre-Registration required with a cap of 16 participants. Workshop participants will be expected to bring two items: 1) a 10X hand lens (loupe) and 2) a copy of Thomas J. Elpel’s Botany in a Day (preferably the 6th ed. which is the Patterns Method of Plant Identification).  If participants have a copy of Harris and Harris’ Plant Identification Terminology, it would be useful to bring it, but it is not required. The focus will be an appropriate blend of basic keying skills and common plant family recognition.  Attendees will be shown how to properly use a hand lens. Weather permitting, a portion of the workshop may be held outside (so dress accordingly).  The workshop could last till 3:30 or 4:00PM depending on interest and energy of the group.  Registration will be based on a “first come – first served” basis determined by the order of emails to Bobby Hattaway at botanikman@g­net.net The required book can be had via Amazon.com Marketplace: Used from $18.76 and new from $19.00 (16 used and 34 new as of 1 Dec 2014).

Optional Sunday Field Trip: Depending on the weather and interest, there will be an option for a limited number of folks to stay over in a cabin for a Sunday outdoor field trip experience which will probably be done by as early as 2PM. If interested in that option, contact Heather Brasell at (229) 339-3966 (cell) early.

Location & Directions:   The Gaskins Forest Education Center is located outside of Alapaha.

Alapaha is 20 miles east of Tifton on US 82. From Alapaha (junction US 82 and GA 129): Go south on GA 129 – 0.6 mi. Turn left on E Brunswick St. E Brunswick St becomes Moore Sawmill Rd. – 3.2 mi. 3359 MOORE SAWMILL RD is on the left. If you reach Rudolph Rd you’ve gone about 0.4 miles too far. Look for an old barn behind young longleaf pines. Call Heather Brasell at (229) 339-3966 (cell) if you get lost.

Meet at: The Gaskins Forest Education Center at 10 AM.

Bathroom Facilities: in the building

Advance Registration Required: by emailing botanikman@g-net.net

Participants will need to have: 1) 10X hand lens (loupe) and 2) a copy of Thomas J. Elpel’s Botany in a Day (preferably the 6th ed. which is the Patterns Method of Plant Identification)

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.

Contact: For questions and inquiries, Bobby Hattaway (email botanikman@g-net.net); cell phone 912-481-3011.

March 28, 2015, The Pocket of Pigeon Mountain, Walker County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet: 10:00 at the Pocket Parking Lot.

Description:  Every year we look forward to spring and a trip to Georgia’s premier spot for early spring wildflowers.  This area, part of the Cumberland Plateau, contains many species rare to our state: Virginia bluebells, celandine poppy, bent trillium, Ohio buckeye, twin leaf, and a huge variety of other wildflowers.

Twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla

Twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla

Directions:  From I-75 exit 320, go west on GA 136, crossing US 27 onto GA 193 into downtown LaFayette. From South Main Street, follow GA 193 for 8 mi. to Davis Crossroads, at intersection with GA 341. Turn left on Hog Jowl Rd (sometimes unmarked but paved), go south 2.6 mi passing Mt Herman Baptist Church.  At top of next hill, turn left on Pocket Rd and  continue for 1.2 miles  to parking lot.

Walking: Short and easy around parking lot and on boardwalk.  Moderate on trail to falls and easy bushwhacking to twin leaf site.   

Facilities: None at site.  Fast food restaurants on North Main street in LaFayette.

Lunch:  Bring to eat in parking lot. 

Leader: Mike Christison (770) 973-6482, mikepaddler@netscape.net.  Cell for day of walk: (770) 596-3564 (reception not guaranteed!)