BOTSOC 2014 Field Trip Schedule

Posted under: Uncategorized.

Please note that the entire 2014 Field Trip Schedule is now posted on this website. To view, click on the Field Trip/Workshops tab in the menu bar at the top of this page, then click on 2014 Field Trip Schedule.

Saturday, September 13, 2014, Fall Line Sandhills WMA Followed by Botsoc Annual Meeting

Posted under: Middle Georgia.

NOTE:  The Botsoc Annual Meeting follows today’s field trip.  Details are posted after the field trip write-up below.

Saturday,  September 13, 2014,  Fall Line Sandhills WMA,  10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Trip Leaders:   John Jensen and Hal Massie

Description:  Despite being one of the smallest wildlife management areas in Georgia, Fall Line Sandhills contains the highest density of state-listed species (animals and plants) of all. No less than 12 listed species, including at least six plants, are found here. The state’s largest population of federally listed pondberry is among them. Its bright red fruits are a rare sight and should be present. Other specialties at this site include sandhills golden aster, Pickering’s morning-glory, lax water-milfoil, and dwarf witch-alder. Late summer and early fall is a great time to visit the sandhills due to the high diversity of colorful composites in bloom. We’ll also explore depressional wetlands and seepage slopes.

Meet: 10:00 am. Location and Directions:  From the junction of GA Hwy 96 and US Hwy 19 in the town square of Butler (Taylor County), travel west on GA Hwy 96 for 2.6 miles (you will turn right at a stop sign to remain on 96 at about 2.4 miles) to Taylor County Industrial Park; turn right. We will meet at the entrance kiosk for the WMA which is immediately on the left after crossing the railroad tracks.

Bathroom Facilities:  None at site.

Walking:  Easy.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, water, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and rain gear. The wetlands are usually low or dry at this time of year, but you are encouraged to bring, in addition to dry hiking shoes, hip boots, rubber boots, or shoes you don’t mind getting muddy in case of wet conditions. You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

Contact: John Jensen, 478-550-4406 or <>

Georgia Botanical Society Annual Meeting  – Sept 13, 2014  3 P.M.,  
 following the Fall Line Sandhills WMA  field trip which ends at 2 P.M.

The meeting will take place at the Georgia DNR office at 116 Rum Creek Dr., Forsyth, GA 31029 in Monroe County, directly after the field trip to the Fall Line Sandhills WMA located inTaylor County.  Field trip attendees will caravan to Forsyth, GA for the meeting.  We will serve light refreshments, cold soft drinks and water. It is about a 45 minute drive from the WMA to the DNR office.


Welcome/Introduction - Vice President

Old Business – We have a proposal to amend the Bylaws as follows:

Currently the bylaws, specifically ARTICLE IV, Section 7, require that the election of officers be held during a meeting in September.  At a board meeting on May 4, 2012, a motion was made to amend the Bylaws to delete the words, “in September”  and in their place, add the words, “during the third quarter of the calendar year (the months of July, August or September”.)

This proposal was not presented to the full membership at that annual meeting due to low member turnout.  Since a Bylaws amendment requires a 2/3 vote of the members present, the motion was tabled until we have a meeting with a larger member turnout.

This change will allow the Vice President and the Field Trip Chair to officially begin work on the annual pilgrimage and the next year’s field trip schedule, earlier in the previous year. The Vice President and the Field Trip Chair do, in fact, begin work earlier on these projects, but may not officially hold these positions due to this timing problem.

This motion will synchronize their elections and/or Board appointments to the actual work schedule necessary to accomplish these tasks in a timely manner.

Officer/Committee Reports: Treasurer’s, Membership, Field Trips, Pilgrimage,Tipularia,  Newsletter,  Marie Mellinger Grant Program and Holiday Party plans.

New Business: 

Election of Officers –  Nominating Committee Chair will present the slate of officers and conduct the election.  After the election, the new officers will have photos taken and the meeting will be adjourned.

Board Members – Please note that immediately following the general business meeting, there will be a short Board of Directors’ meeting. Members are invited to stay for the Board Meeting.



September 20, 2014: Composite Torture, Walker County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet: 10:00 AM, Pinhoti Trail Parking Area HWY 136

Description: We will wander along the roadside and powerline right-of-way to examine the many composites in bloom.  We will work through identification keys and try to learn some basic composite identification skills. If we are lucky, there also will be some non-composites in bloom to give us a break during the day.

Directions: Take exit 320 on I-75 and go west on GA 136.  Continue right on 136 at “T”-intersection when 136C joins. The parking area is a gravel lot on the right 2.5 and 3 miles past this intersection.

Note: We will develop a Plan B on the fly if the roadside/right-of-way has been recently mowed rendering the area free of flowers.

Walking: Easy, but no trail.

Facilities:  Pit toilet in the parking area.

Bring: hand lens, composite keys/ID books, Lunch, water, bug spray.

Trip Leader: Rich Reaves,, 770-827-5186

September 20, 2014, Grand Bay and Lake Louise, Lowndes County

Posted under: South Georgia.


Field Trip Leader:  Richard Carter

Meet: 10:00 am at The Grand Bay Wetland Education Center parking area, 4661 Knights Academy Road, Valdosta, GA 31605

Description: Imagine a walk through a Carolina Bay swamp without getting your feet wet, including spectacular aerial views! A quarter-mile boardwalk and 50 foot observation tower at Grand Bay Wetland Education Center afford the opportunity to observe a great diversity of aquatic vegetation and interesting patterns of zonation, including lots of graminoids and floating mats with water-spider orchid. At another site, we will observe the vegetation along the margin of a lime-sink pond, with a boardwalk providing easy access through a dense evergreen shrub bog, featuring such specialties as Georgia fever-bark, loblolly bay, cypress-knee sedge, white-arrow arum, and ball moss.

Directions: From I-75 exit 22, take North Valdosta Road east 3.9 miles to Inner Perimeter Road. Turn left on Inner Perimeter Road and travel 1.5 miles to Bemiss Road (Hwy. GA 125). Turn left (north) onto Bemiss Road. Travel about 1 mile to Knights Academy Road. Turn right (east) onto Knights Academy Road. Travel 4.9 miles until your reach the Grand Bay WMA gate on the left. Turn left (north) onto the gravel road, and travel 0.8 mile until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left (west), travel about 0.1 mile to the Grand Bay Wetland Education Center parking area.

Bathroom Facilities: none

Walking Difficulty: This hike is easy to moderate.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water. We will eat lunch at the Grand Bay Wetland Education Center parking area. Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes. You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

Contact: Richard Carter,, (229) 506-2099 (cell), (229) 333-5763 (VSU office, voice), (229) 333-5338 (VSU Herbarium).

September 27, 2014 9:00 A.M. (Note early start time) Panola Mountain State Park, DeKalb County – National Public Lands Day

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Panola Mountain State Park, DeKalb County  –  National Public Lands Day.  Grassland restoration ( 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.) and Panola Mountain Hike  after lunch.

Field Trip Leader:  Maureen Donohue

Description: We will join park staff and volunteers in planting wildflowers at a significant grassland restoration area in the park.  Some of us worked on this restoration two years so we will see how the work is progressing. After lunch Phil Delestrez, Resource Manager for Panola, will guide us on a brief walk up the mountain to see the pristine100 acre granite outcrop that has never been quarried. It is a rare untouched ecosystem.

Meet:   9:00 am at the Alexander’s Lake Parking area  for sign-in Panola Mountain State Park        Phone:  770 389-7801 2600 Hwy 155, SW Stockbridge, Ga 30281 GPS Coordinates :  N 33.623400     W -084 172800 Maps are available on the web site at Mountain

Directions:  The park is located 18 miles southeast o Atlanta.  Take I-20 to Exit 68, Snapfinger Road/ Hwy 155. Travel south on Georgia Hwy 155 to the main park entrance. Take the first road to the left after entering the main gate.This is Alexander Lake Road.  It is a small road (and easily missed) that runs along the side of the park.  Alexander Lake Road will dead end into Flat Shoals Road.  That road is also called Klondike Road. Turn right on Flat Shoals Road. The park entrance to the Alexander’s Lake area will be on the left and is marked as an entrance to PMSP. Alternatively you may take Georgia Hwy 212 to Klondike Road to enter near the Alexander’s Lake parking area.

Bathroom Facilities: In the park

Walking Difficulty: Easy at the grassland; moderate for the mountain walk

Bring: Lunch to eat near the parking area, water.  You may wish to bring work or garden gloves as well as a camera, hand lens, notebook. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.

Special Requests:  The park asks that we pre-register. Send me your name so I can register the group. Please wear some BotSoc identification – a favorite t-shirt or hat or a logo patch.  It may invite conversation about our organization.  If you are talking to other volunteers, mention our great field trip program and invite them to join us.  Field trips are free and open to the public. You may wish to bring friends and family.This is a nice event. Contact:  Maureen Donohue  email-   770-990-7756- cell.

Sunday, September 28, 2014, Tallassee Forest, Athens-Clarke County

Posted under: East Georgia; North Georgia.

Date: Sunday, September 28, 2014, 10:00 am-1:30 pm.

Field Trip Leaders: Linda Chafin and Karen Porter

Description: We will visit Tallassee Forest, a 310-acre tract of land on the Middle Oconee River in northwest Athens-Clarke County. Large size, high environmental quality, and relatively little recent disturbance allow it support a diversity of native plants, nongame wildlife, and eight of Georgia DNR’s high priority habitats: mature oak-hickory-pine forest, mesic hardwood forest, wetlands including a freshwater marsh, bottomland forest, canebrakes, springs and spring runs, small streams, and a medium-sized river. Of special interest is an unusual upland American holly forest and a bottomland forest with canebrakes and minimal invasives. The utility easements are covered with diverse fall wildflowers and grasses. More than 113 species of plants including 11 wetland species have been recorded to date. There are 56 species of butterflies (including three rare species) and 13 species of skippers, close relatives of butterflies. The rare Cane Brake Skipper is dependent on River Cane as a food source. So far, 63 species of birds, 13 families of aquatic invertebrates, and 22 species of amphipians and reptiles have been recorded.

Location & Directions: Tallassee Forest is off Tallassee Road in northwest Athens-Clarke County–we will meet at a nearby school and carpool from there to the Forest. From Atlanta, take I-85 north to Exit 137 – Jefferson/US Hwy 129. Drive south on US 129 for about 20 miles. Just outside Athens, turn right onto GA Hwy 10/Loop 10 South (aka “the bypass”) and drive SW about 1 mile to Exit 15 (Tallassee Rd-Oglethorpe Avenue). Turn right/west onto Tallassee Road. Proceed 4.3 miles and turn right into the Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School parking lot. Park in the school lot.

Meet 10:00 am at the parking lot of Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School, 1600 Tallassee Road.

Bathroom facilities: none

Walking Difficulty: Moderate. We will be walking on old roads and utility easements. The walk is long so plan for 3½ hours. Bring: Lunch, snacks, and water. Dress for the weather, it will probably be hot in September, and wear sturdy walking shoes or boots. You may also want to bring binoculars, hand lens, and cameras.

Contact: Linda Chafin or Karen Porter at

October 4, 2014 Early Fall Wildflowers of North Georgia, Union County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Monkshood, Aconitum uncinatum

Monkshood, Aconitum uncinatum

Description: Early fall is a wonderful time to see some of Georgia’s rarest and most colorful wildflowers. This trip will take us to at least three locations in the north central part of the state, including areas near Young Harris and Suches.  Plants we hope to see in bloom include 3 Gentians:  the beautiful and rare Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita), Stiff Gentian (Gentianella Fringed Gentian, Gentianopsis crinitaquinquefolia), and Soapwort Gentian (Gentiana saponaria).  Also, two species of Parnassia: Kidney-Leaf Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia asarifolia), and the rare and ornately veined Large-Leaf Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia grandifolia).  In addition: two aptly named plants: Monkshood (Aconitum uncinatum), and White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra).  We also hope to see White Goldenrod (Solidago bicolor), and perhaps a couple species of Ladies’Tresses (Spiranthes sp.).

White Turtlehead, Chelone glabra

Meet:  10:00 am at the Chevron station near the intersection of US 76 and Track Rock Gap Rd between Blairsville and Young Harris, GA.

Directions:  I-75 to I-575 north to GA 5/515 to Blue Ridge, GA, then east on US 76/ GA 515 to Blairsville.  From the intersection of US 76 and US 19/129 in Blairsville, continue heading east on HY 76/515  toward Clayton, GA for about 6.4 miles. Meet at the Chevron Station on the left. If you come to Track Rock Gap Rd (or to Young Harris), you have come too far.

Bring:  Lunch to eat on the house porch of Gene and Joyce Hall near Young Harris.

Grass of Parnassus, Wild Hog Creek

Grass of Parnassus, Wild Hog Creek

Facilities:  At meeting site.

Walking:  Easy, near cars, with a short bushwhack walk near the monkshood site.

Trip Leaders:  Mike Christison,, 770-973-6482 (H), 770-596-3564 (Cell phone for day of trip), and Richard & Teresa Ware,, 706-232-3435 (H), 706-766-5143 (Cell phone for day of trip).

Monday, October 13, 2014 10:00 AM, Black Creek Wildlife Management Area, Taylor County

Posted under: South Georgia.

Elegant Blazing Star, Liatris elegans

Elegant Blazing Star, Liatris elegans

Trip Leader: Hal Massie

Description: Black Creek WMA (formerly Black Creek Natural Area) is in the sandhills of West Central Georgia. Fall is the best wildflower season in the sandhills and many unique species, especially members of the aster family, should be in flower. Black Creek Natural Area is managed with prescribed fire and we will be able to see the impact of recent fires on sandhill plants. Target species will include sandhills golden-aster (Pityopsis pinifolia), and Pickering’s dawnflower (Stylisma pickeringii var. pickeringii), both protected plants. We should also find sandhill specialties like Michaux’s Whitlow-wort (Paronychia herniarioides), elegant blazing-star (Liatris elegans), and lopsided Indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum). If we have time and a couple of 4-wheel drive vehicles, we’ll enter the edge of a large bog containing many sweet pitcher plants (Sarracenia rubra) as well as one of the rarest plants in Georgia, tawny cottongrass (Eriophorum virginicum).

Directions: Take US 19 south to Butler. Pass through the town on US 19 to the light at the intersection of US 19 and GA 96. Turn right onto GA 96 and go approximately 7 miles. You will pass Culverhouse Rd. and Grace Mill Rd. The next three roads to the right (Brown, Watson, and the other end of Brown) all lead to the small village of Howard. If you are coming from the south, take US 19 north to the intersection with GA 96 and turn left and then use the directions above.

Pineleaf or sandhill goldenaster, Pityopsis pinifolia

Pineleaf or sandhill goldenaster, Pityopsis pinifolia

Meet At: We will meet across the road from the post office in Howard, then carpool to Black Creek WMA. Black Creek WMA has limited parking and deep sand roads. We will carpool from Howard using the vehicles with highest clearance.

Facilities: None.

Walking: We’ll be walking on old sand logging roads. Walking will be fairly easy, but the sand will be deep at times and it could be hot. We may walk into the edge of a bog, which will be mucky. Total walking for the day shouldn’t exceed 2 miles, less if we have the proper vehicles.

Bring: Hat, bug spray, hand lens, water and food. A little bit of curiosity and good humor won’t hurt. Bring a lunch – we’ll try to eat near the vehicles, but be prepared to carry your food. A picnic blanket or some other cover to sit on is recommended.
Leader: Hal Massie
478-957-6095 (cell, will be on the morning of the hike)

Photos by Hal Massie


October 18, 2014, Panther Creek, Habersham County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Field Trip Leader: Ben Cash

Description: Starting on a dry ridge with table mountain pine, mountain laurel, dwarf rhododendron and bigleaf storax, we’ll descend into the rugged and scenic corridor carved by Panther Creek.  We’ll follow the creek upstream to the pool below Panther Creek Falls and return by the same route. We’ll eat lunch by the water. Plant diversity increases nearer to the water with yellow buckeye, black birch and magnolias appearing. Virginia willow, silky cornel, hazel alder, yellowroot and ferns flourish. We may see log fern, Blue Ridge bittercress and brook saxifrage.

Location & Directions: Traveling north on US 23 / US 441 in Habersham County, go through the intersection with GA 17 Alternate at the traffic signal in Hollywood then take the next right onto John Wood Rd. which ends at an intersection after appro 1.5 mi. Continue straight ahead onto unpaved Camp Yonah Rd. and follow it about 3 mi to the east end. We have permission to park and walk across private property to reach Panther Creek within the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Meet:  10:00 am at East end of Camp Yonah Rd.

Bathroom Facilities: No. But two filling stations / convenience stores, two locally owned restaurants and a franchised sandwich shop are on GA 17 Alternate in Hollywood.

Walking Difficulty:  Total distance, in and back, is about 3 mi. The first portion of the walk is easy but the Forest Service hiking trail along Panther Creek is often rocky, overgrown and treacherous.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water. Remember to dress for the weather & wear comfortable hiking shoes. Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature & your activity level. You may wish to bring hiking poles, binoculars, hand lens, notebook, & camera.

Contact: Ben Cash (706) 778-5155,, (706) 968-3841 cell, day of hike although service may not be available.

Saturday, October 25, 2014, Banks County, GA, Piedmont Property of Sue Mager

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet:   10:00 am  Mager, Creek

 Field Trip Leader:  Sue Mager

 Description:  We will explore meadows and beaver ponds/wetland areas on this trip.  In the morning, we will take an easy walk through several open fields to see a variety of fall wildflowers (mostly asters), including the Georgia Aster.  We will also see a variety of grasses. After lunch we will hike/wade along 20 year old beaver habitat, identifying pond flora and fauna along the way.

Location & Directions:  GPS might work if you use neighbor’s address:  285 Moccasin Gap Rd, Lula, GA 30554  (Please verify that it matches directions below.)

Mager, GA AsterFrom Atlanta: Take I-85 north to I-985 north, which becomes GA 365 after Gainesville.  About 8 miles past Gainesville, pass GA 52 and take the next right onto Athens St.  Go through stop sign in Lula and follow GA 51 towards Homer to mile marker 4, turn left on Mt Sinai.  Turn left at the first paved road, Moccasin Gap Rd.  Go 0.2 mile and turn left into driveway with mailbox for #285.  Bear right at fork and go to the second field to the house.

From Clayton/Clarkesville:  Take GA 365 south to Tribble Gap Rd (the crossroad after Mud Creek Rd) and turn left.  Go to end, turn left onto County Line Rd.  Go through stop sign and road name changes to Moccasin Gap Rd. Go 3.2 miles, turn right at mailbox for #285. Bear right at fork and go to the second field to the house.

From Athens:  Take US 441 north through Commerce; after 3 miles turn left on GA 164 west. After 3 more miles, turn left on GA 51 west.  After 6.5 miles, turn right on Mt Sinai Rd. Turn left at the first paved road, Moccasin Gap Rd.  In 0.2 mile, turn left at mailbox with #285.  Bear right at fork and go to the second field to the house.

Bathroom Facilities: Yes

Walking Difficulty: The morning part through the fields is easy, one hill, less than a mile; afternoon is moderate with some steep up/downhill areas, also less than a mile, and may have to cross shallow water, depending on recent rainfall.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.  We will eat on the porch at the house. Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes.  Will need water boots or waders, or bring old boots that you don’t mind getting wet for the afternoon part to the beaver ponds.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, and camera.

Contact: Sue Mager, 770 365-5197 cell (works in most places), email: