August 1, 2015 9:00 am, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Woodland Spider Lily, Morgan County

Posted under: Uncategorized.

Field Trip Leaders:  Hugh Nourse, Carol Nourse, Kathy Stege 

Description:  The new bike trail at Hard Labor Creek State Park goes along a lovely creek with rock outcroppings.  Park historians say the riparian area has been logged, though not extensively, and was never farmed.  There’s a delightful shady forest trail with the most Carolina spiderlily (Hymenocallis caroliniana) the three leaders have ever seen in the wild; last year there were about 30 clumps of 10-40 lilies each.  We hope to catch them in full glory again this year.  There’s additional fall forest growth to explore.

Location & Directions:  Hard Labor State Park, Rutledge GA

Meet:  9:00 am at the visitor center (Note early meeting time).  There is a $5/vehicle parking fee.

Bathroom Facilities: Clean flush toilets at the visitor center.  Thick shrubs on the trail.

Walking Difficulty: This hike is moderate, including a stream crossing and ~2 miles walk. We’ll picnic by the stream, and cool our feet in it.  Be aware: this time of year, the yellow jackets are angry.  Kathy plans to hike further after botanizing, so feel free to come along for a vigorous 1 hour hike at the end.  Or you can simply wander back to the cars.

Bring: Lunch & water.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

Contact: Kathy Stege 478-955-3422 (cell with coverage at park visitor center) kath22steg@gmail.com

August 1, 2015, 9:30 am, Plant Genetics Class and Workshop – CANCELLED!

Posted under: North Georgia.

The Plant Genetics Class and Workshop at the State Botanical Gardens in Athens has been canceled. It will be rescheduled for some date in the future, but not this year.

 

August 15, 2015, Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site, Paulding County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site (Entry Fee Required)

Triphora trianthophora (20)

Three Birds Orchid, Triphora trianthophora

Atlanta Area (west of the city) 

Trip Leader: Rich Reaves

Meet:  10:00 am at the park visitor center

Description: The ultimate goal will be to see three bird’s orchid in bloom, although the plant and the weather may not cooperate.  There is a nice population of this species in the park and it has graced us with blooms at this time in the past.  We also will enjoy the other plants we find along our path.

Directions: Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site, 4432 Mt. Tabor Church Rd, Dallas, GA 30157

From I-75, about 15 miles north of Marietta, take exit 277 (Acworth/Hwy 92), and proceed south on GA 92.  Be careful: GA 92 makes several turns, including an unexpected right turn just off the freeway. Proceed for 12 miles heading south on GA 92 and turn right at the small, brown, state park sign onto Due West Road (NOT Due West Street!). In 1.8 miles, turn right onto Mt Tabor Church Road. The park entrance will be just a short distance on your right.

Walking: Easy to moderate, about 2 miles, with one fairly long climb on the way back

Facilities: at the visitor center.

Bring: water, snacks, bug spray.  This walk likely will not be of as long a duration as most BotSoc walks.  If you are so inclined, you may bring a lunch to eat at the picnic tables.

Contact: Rich Reaves   rich.reaves@ att.net    770-827-5186 – cell but may not have service at trailhead

August 22, 2015, Freeman Trail and Blood Mountain, Union County­

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet:   10:00 am 

AT Woody Gap to Slaughter Gap, GA

Ovate Catchfly, Silene ovata

Trip Leader:  Linda Chafin

Description:  We will meet at the Byron Herbert Reese (BHR) Parking Area and hike the first 0.7 miles on the BHR Trail, which switchbacks through rhododendron and mountain laurel up stone staircases to Flatrock Gap, where the Freeman Trail begins. The Freeman Trail winds around the south side of Blood Mountain, over a rugged and rocky terrain, crossing several small rocky streams and rock outcrops. Outcrops should be ablaze with late summer wildflowers, such as sunflowers, tickseeds, goldenrods, and lobelias.  We should see two rare species, ovate catchfly (Silene ovata) and eastern figwort (Scrophularia marilandica), in flower. After 1.8 miles, we will reach Bird Gap and the Appalachian Trail (AT). At this point, some of us will  return to the parking lot on the Freeman Trail (for a moderate, round-trip hike of 5 miles) and others may want to continue on the AT to the summit of Blood Mountain and then return to the parking lot on the AT (a strenuous hike of 6.8 miles).

Directions to Meeting Location:  10:00 a.m. at the Byron Herbert Reese parking area on the west side of U.S. Hwy 129 North, about 0.5 mile north of the Mountain Crossing Appalachian Trail Store at Neel’s Gap. Neel’s Gap is 18 (slow and curvy) miles north of Cleveland. There is a $5.00 parking fee to park at the BHR lot; parking is not allowed at the Trail Store.

Bathroom Facilities: None on the trail; bathrooms, snacks, water, etc at the Trail Store.

Walking Difficulty: The BHR trail is moderately steep. The Freeman Trail is relatively flat but there are some very large, tricky boulders to scramble over and several rocky streams to cross. Hiking pole and ankle-protecting boots strongly advised.

Bring: Five dollars for parking fee, and lunch, snacks, and water.  Dress for hot weather and possible afternoon thunderstorms.

Contact: Linda Chafin, 706-548-1697 or Lchafin@uga.edu

 

Sept 12, 2015, Hinds Road Outcrop / Little River Canyon NP, AL (Etowah, DeKalb Cos.)

Posted under: Alabama.

Phemeranthus [Talinum] mengesii (Large-flowered Rock-pink)

Phemeranthus [Talinum] mengesii (Large-flowered Rock-pink)

Meet: 10:00 am – at Jack’s Restaurant, 1502 Noccalula Road, Gadsden, AL 35901

Description: This trip will feature visits to several sandstone rock outcrops in northeast Alabama to see a variety of wildflowers (and tree) that are rare or not even found in Georgia. We will explore Hinds Road Outcrop near Gadsden, then travel to Little River Canyon to Lynn Overlook and possibly other sites for Nuttall’s rayless-goldenrod (Bigelowia nuttallii), Sandstone Tickseed (Coreopsis pulchra), Longleaf Sunflower (Helianthus longifolius), Small-head Blazing Star (Liatris microcephala), Menges’ Fameflower (Talinum mengesii), Boynton Oak (Quercus boyntonii) and other goodies.

Bigelowia nuttallii - Nuttall's rayless-goldenrod

Bigelowia nuttallii – Nuttall’s rayless-goldenrod

Directions: From I-75, exit 290 in Cartersville, take Ga. 20 and then US 411 to Rome. At first traffic signal turn right onto Ga. Loop 1. Follow Loop 1 around Rome, making 1 left turn at intersection of Garden Lakes Blvd. and Mathis Dr. Go past Walmart and Sam’s Club, turn right onto Ga. 20. Go 14.2 mi., enter AL (Hwy. becomes AL-9). Go 14.7 mi. turn right on AL-68. Go 2.2 mi. turn right on US 411. Stay on US 411 to Gadsden, AL (21.4 mi.). At Gadsden turn right on US 431, continue on US 431 for 1.5 mi. turn right on AL 211 (Noccalula Road). Go approx. 1.5 mi. look for Jack’s Restaurant on left.

Liatris microcephala (Small-head Blazing-star)

Liatris microcephala (Small-head Blazing-star)

Facilities: at meeting & lunch sites

Lunch: bring lunch to eat at picnic tables or fast food may be available.

Walking: mostly short distances on relatively flat rock outcrops, however, very rough terrain.

Bring: Lunch, water, bug spray, camera etc.

Leader(s): Richard Ware (706-232-3435, cell 706-766-5143, gabotany@comcast.net) – Mike Christison (770-973-6482, cell 770-596-3564, mikepaddler@netscape.net).

September 19, 2015, Buck Creek Serpentine Barren, Clay County, NC

Posted under: North Carolina.

Field Trip Leader: Gary Kaufman, US Forest Service Botanist Description:  Buck Creek Serpentine Barren in Clay County, NC just west of the Macon County line in the Chunky Gal Mountains.  A physiognomic patchwork of forest, dense grass patches (over 20 species) and partially open woodland occurs across a serpentine site surrounding Buck Creek in Clay County, North Carolina.  The dominant rock types, serpentinized dunite and olivine, influence the striking vegetation present on this site.  The serpentine plant communities occupy both east and west-facing slopes extending over 300 acres from 3400 feet elevation along Buck Creek to over 4000 feet elevation atop Corundum Knob. One hundred acres within the site is managed by the Tusquitee Ranger District as a Special Interest Area and registered as a Natural Heritage Area with the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.  Plants of interest include Gentianopsis crinata, Parnassia grandifolia, Symphyotrichum rhiannon, Sporobolus heterolepis, & Packera serpenticola. Location & Directions:  From Blairsville, Ga  to meeting site approximately 34.3 miles.  Follow Young Harris Highway for about 11.5 miles taking a left onto GA-515 which becomes NC-69.  Follow for about 4.5 miles to intersection with US 64 in Hayesville, NC.  Turn right following US 64 for about 16.5 miles to a left on Buck Creek road. Meet:   10:00 am.,  by the gated road, Forest Service Road (FSR) 6269, which is about 0.6 mile north of US 64 off FSR 350 along Buck Creek. Bathroom Facilities: None Walking Difficulty:  The hike will follow FSR 6269 for 0.3 mile, an easy climb with an elevation change of 150 feet.  Off trail in the barren the hike about a 0.1 mile hike will progress through a moderate grade with uneven terrain.  A 1-mile hike in similar terrain will be undertaken on the west side of Buck Creek. Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.  Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes.  Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature and your activity level.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera. Contact: Gary Kauffman, gkauffman@fs.fed.us, 828-231-5354

September 19, 2015 10:00 am Moody Forest Natural Area – Sandhill Community, Appling County

Posted under: South Georgia.

Meet:  10:00 am

Field Trip Leader:   Bobby Hattaway

Description:  We will explore one of the richest sandhill communities in the southeastern US. Settled by the Moody family more than 140 years ago, Moody Forest Natural Area is one of the three most ecologically important old-growth longleaf pine forests in Georgia. Adjacent to the Altamaha River in Appling County, the 4,500-acre the Moody Forest tracts contain some of Georgia’s richest examples of the Sandhill plant community including the only known example of the longleaf pine-blackjack oak forest. As many as 300 to 350 acres of the property contain longleaf and slash pine trees that are 200 to 300 years old. In 2014, some of Moody Forest NA sandhill communities were part of a University of Florida research project that is looking at which restoration techniques have been most effective in North Florida and South Georgia.  Moody Forest sandhill ranked 3rd out of 22 sites with 112 species. (Apalachicola National Forest was #1 at 130 species, and River Rise State Park in FL was #2 at 114 species). Other significant ecological jewels on the property include forests found on bluffs overlooking the Altamaha floodplain, cypress-tupelo sloughs with trees over 600 years old, and bottomland hardwoods.

Location & Directions:  From Baxley (about 15 minutes):1) From the main intersection of US 341 and US 1 in town, travel north on US 1 about 7.6 miles to Asbury Church Rd, and turn right. 2) Travel down Asbury Church Rd. 1.7 miles to Spring Branch Rd., and turn left (dirt road). 3)Travel down Spring Branch Rd. 0.8 mile and turn right onto East River Rd. (dirt road). 4) Travel down East River Rd. 0.7 mile; just past the “Tavia’s Trail” parking lot, stay left to remain on East River Rd.; travel 1.0 mile and turn left into The Nature Conservancy office parking lot.

From Atlanta (allow approximately 3.5 hours travel time): 1) Take I-75 South to Macon, about 80 miles; 2) Take I-16 East (Exit 165) on the left towards Savannah; stay on I-16 for 90 miles. 3) Take the US Hwy. 1/state route 4 exit (Exit 90) to Lyons. 4) Turn right off the exit ramp onto US 1/SR 4 south 5) Stay on this road for approximately 35 miles, passing through the town of Lyons, to the Altamaha River bridge. 6) Continue another 3.0 miles past the bridge, and watch on the left for Asbury Church Road. 7) Turn left at Asbury Church Rd and follow directions from #2) above (From Baxley).

Alternatively from Atlanta: Up at #2), instead of traveling I-16 all the way to US 1,  some might prefer to get off it earlier and take GA 19 S. at Exit 54 (Dublin Exit) which runs into 179, then US 280 and then S 221/GA 56S. This is a total of about 57 miles from I-16 to US 1. Then Take US 1 South to Asbury Church Rd. which is 3 miles past the Altamaha River bridge. Then see #6 above.

Meet At:  The Nature Conservancy office parking lot

Bathroom Facilities: at the office.                                                                                            

Walking Difficulty: This hike is easy to moderate.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, insect repellent, sunscreen & water.  Wear comfortable hiking shoes.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

Contact: Bobby Hattaway; cell phone on day of trip – 912-481-3011; botanikman@g-net.net

October 3, 2015, Ohoopee Dunes Fall Wildflowers, Emanuel County

Posted under: Southeast Georgia.

Field Trip Leader:  Mincy Moffett

Description:  We will explore various habitats, as well as view wildflowers and interesting flora found at the Ohoopee Dunes Wildlife Management Area (ODWMA).  Diverse habitats include classic Kershaw-sand xeric dunes, sub-xeric dunes and sub-xeric ecotones with longleaf pine, hillside pocosins, broadleaf evergreen/ericaceous drains, slope (hammock) forests, rosemary balds, beaver ponds, pitcher plant seeps, and a beautiful blackwater stream floodplain.

The ODWMA, managed by DNR, contains three (3) separate tracts.  The three ODWMA tracts, plus two (2) additional conservation tracts (one each owned by TNC and the USFWS), comprise what is informally referred to as the Ohoopee Dunes Natural Area Complex (5 tracts total).  We will begin our field trip at the northernmost unit, the ODWMA-McLeod Bridge Tract.  We will next explore the ODWMA-Halls Bridge Tract as time permits.  The drive time between the two tracts is 10 minutes.  The location and timing of lunch can be a group decision made on site.

Location & Directions:  We will be meeting at the Ohoopee Dunes Wildlife Management Area – McLeod Bridge Road Parking Area (Emanuel County – w/nw of Swainsboro).  All directions are given from the perspective of US-80 on the western side of Swainsboro.  A Google Map link is provided.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zTGflH4vvBdg.kaZN5HF7jZyI&usp=sharing

Locate the intersection of US-80 and Old McLeod Bridge Road (CR456).  Old McLeod Br. Rd. is located 2.75 miles west of downtown Swainsboro (US-80/US-1 Intersection); 1.5 miles west of the US-80/US-1By-Pass; and 6 miles east of US-80/US-221(SR171) intersection.

From the intersection of Old McLeod Br. Rd and US-80, travel northwest on Old McLeod Br. Rd for 2.6 miles.  The ODWMA parking area will be on the right.  Landmarks include Woodchuck Rd. (dirt) at 1.1 miles and a powerline r-o-w at 1.7 miles.  If you cross the Little Ohoopee River (on Old McLeod Br. Rd), you have gone too far.

Meet At:  The parking area/kiosk for the McLeod Bridge Tract (ODWMA) at 10:00 am.

Bathroom Facilities: none 

Walking Difficulty: This hike is easy to moderate.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.  Remember to dress for the weather – early October on the dunes can bring temps in the 80’s.  Wear comfortable hiking shoes.  Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature and your activity level.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

 

November 14, 2015: Geology and Natural Communities: Contrasts across the Fall Line and the Story of Providence Canyon, talk and walk, Stewart County

Posted under: Middle Georgia.

Providence Canyon

Providence Canyon

November 14:  Geology and Natural Communities: Contrasts across the Fall Line and the Story of Providence Canyon, talk and walk

Time:  1:00 (talk at Oxbow Meadows); 2:00 (walk at Providence Canyon State Park)

Leaders:  Bill Witherspoon and Leslie Edwards

Location:  Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center (for the talk); Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area (for the walk).

Description:  Two related events:  First, a talk at Oxbow Meadows will describe the geology of the Fall Line and ways in which that geology influences the formation of different natural communities.  This will be followed by a walk in Providence Canyon that will explore the geologic story of the Canyon and some of the natural communities there.

Difficulty level:  moderate to easy

Facilities: Restaurants near both locations

Directions to Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center:   http://oxbow.columbusstate.edu/driving_directions.php

Directions to Providence Cayon Outdoor Recreation Area:   http://gastateparks.org/ProvidenceCanyon#direction

Contact:  Leslie Edwards,  edwa1616@bellsouth.net