Friday, August 1, 2014

July 31 2014 Ramble Report




Today's Ramble Report was written by Hugh Nourse.

One of our UGA student ramblers, Silvio, does not have a car and needs a ride for next week's ramble. If you can help please call him at 570-493-9010. (Otherwise he faces a 5 mile walk in August heat and humidity.)


 Don Hunter's album for today's ramble is here.

Ronnie's letter
One of our younger Ramblers, Ronnie, will not be able to join us after school starts. He sent us this letter to thank everyone who helped him during this summer's rambles.



Twenty-two ramblers gathered to enjoy the wonderful cool morning.  There were two readings this morning. One by Rosemary and one by David. They can be found here.

Our route today was out the white trail to the Dunson Native Flora Garden, then out the road to the Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Study, where we used up all our time, then returned via another section of the Dunson Native Flora Garden.

The highlights in the Native Flora Garden on the first pass were Pignut and Mockernut hickory nuts found by Ronnie.  We then stopped at a patch of
Fertile frond of Netted Chain fern
Broad Beech Fern and were reminded of the characteristics including  winged rachis and lowest two frond segments pointing back toward the base.  The difficult netted chain fern was easy to identify today because its tree-shaped fertile fronds were fresh and easy to recognize.  In fact the fern gets its name from the long-oblong sori (spore-containing structures) in chainlike rows on each side of the midvein of all fertile segments.  The unusual royal fern is found in wet habitats.  Hugh has seen it, for example, in a wet area opposite the parking lot for the Track Rock Gap Archeological Site near Young Harris.  There it grows very tall and is mixed in with another wetland plant, the cardinal flower.

Cranefly Orchid
Along the path was a crane fly orchid that was still very green.  Later we would see some with the more usual reddish brown and yellow colors.  The lizard's tail was almost completely bloomed out in the wetland, but the  hibiscus, mostly swamp mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), were stunning. At that site we also commented upon rattlesnake master
Rattlesnake Master
(Eryngium yuccifolium).  The common name is because the plant was used in case of rattlesnake bites.  Tim pointed out that sometimes a poisonous snake does not inject poison when it bites.  So, if the plant was used, it might "work" because the poison had not been injected. The next time it might not, if the snake actually injected poison.

Large Milkweed bug on Butterfly weed

Going down the road to the Mimsie Lanier Center, Avis pointed out butterflyweed (or chiggerweed).  On that plant and other plants around it were a beautiful orange and black insect, which is called, appropriately, the milkweed bug.

Trees along the way were water oak, sweet gum, persimmon, green ash, and red mulberry.

Going through the gate to the Center, flowers were found along the road:  goldenrod (Solidago altissima),
Pokeweed flowers
pokeweed, and climbing on it was a small red morning glory (Ipomea coccinea). 
Ipomea coccinea
On the other side of the road were spurred butterfly pea, trumpet vine, and sensitive brier (Mimosa microphylla).

After that we began looking at the plantings Heather, who runs the center,  had placed along the road.  There were so many that I will only try to select some of them.  The royal catchfly was in
Royal Catchfly
full bloom. This brilliant red pink grows in limestone cedar glades, and in other places with basic soils.  Four populations have been observed in Georgia, but only one has survived. Along with it was blazing star, phlox, mountain mint, wild bergamot, and monkey flower (Mimulus ringens), as well as whorled leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis major).

Going inside the fenced in "Ark" (Outdoor Propagation Area) with many rare plants, everyone surrounded the first three of four elevated boxes to see Hairy Rattleweed (Baptisia arachnifera), red pitcher plants (Sarracenia rubra), yellow trumpets (Sarracenia flava), and white topped pitcher plants (Sarracenia leucophylla).  In the same boxes were white and pink
Indian Pink
meadow beauties (Rhexia spp,) with their amusing anthers resembling the knees of dancing ballerinas.  In another box was the rare pink root (Spigelia gentianoides) with its close relative, Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica).  The pink root does not occur in Georgia, but in one place in Alabama which was found by Jim Allison on a canoe trip.  I believe there may be a closely related pink root in Florida.  In a patch of big flowers we found hairy sunflower, cut leaf coneflower or green-headed coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), and sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa).

Moving over to the area along the parking lot and next to the head
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (male)
house we saw Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.  But to me
Spotted Beebalm
the most stunning exhibit was the bed of spotted bee balm (Monarda punctata).  They were huge plants and in full bloom.  When Carol and I visited the previous day they were swarming with bees. That was a sunny day and today was very cloudy so they weren't around.

Along the parking lot were blooming magnolia, large flowered coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora), and several grasses not yet in bloom, such as little bluestem.

Heather said we could walk through the green houses, so we did, seeing the plants propagated for the plant sale in October.  It will be during the first two weeks of that month on Wed through Fri from 4PM to 6PM and Saturday from 9AM  to 12 noon. To many of us one of the most interesting plants was flowering Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera). Outside we found wild quinine.

On our way back to the arbor we rambled along a different path in the Dunson Native Flora Garden to see sensitive fern and many more crane fly orchids with their more typical red-brown and yellow flowers.  This orchid occurs in every county in Georgia, very common, but hard to see because its coloring camouflages against the leaf litter background typically surrounding it.  We see the leaves during the winter, but they disappear before the plant flowers.  As we often do we passed the really nice bed of northern maidenhair ferns by the bridge.

Red Spotted Purple (deceased)
Even after we adjourned and were on our way to Donderos, Ronnie and Eva found a dead red spotted purple butterfly on the banana trees at the entrance.

Many retired to Donderos for snacks and conversation.

Hugh


SUMMARY OF OBSERVED SPECIES:
Pignut Hickory
Carya glabra
Mockernut Hickory
Carya tomentosa
Broad beech fern
Phegopteris hexagonoptera
Netted Chain fern
Woodwardia areolata
Royal fern
Osmunda regalis
Cranefly orchid
Tipularia discolor
Lizzard tail
Saururus cernuus
Rattlesnake master
Eryngium yuccifolium
Swamp rose mallow
Hibiscus moscheutos
Butterfly weed
Asclepias tuberosa
Large Milkweed bug
Oncopeltus fasciatus
American persimmon
Diospyros virginiana
Green Ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Common Rose Pink
Sabatia angularis
Daisy Fleabane
Erigeron sp.
Spurred butterfly pea
Centrosema virginianum
Trumpet vine
Campsis radicans
Late Golden rod
Solidao altissima
Invasive lady bug
Harmonia axyridis
American Pokeweed
Phytolacca americana
Scarlet morning glory
Ipomoea coccinea
Royal catchfly
Silene regia
Blazing star
Liatris spicata
Phlox
Phlox sp.
Mountain mint
Pycnanthemum incanum
Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa
Spotted beebalm
Monarda punctatum
Monkey flower
Mimulus sp.
Hairy rattleweed
Baptisia arachnifera
Gentian pinkroot
Spigelia gentianoides
Indian pink
Spigelia marilandica
Hairy sunflower
Helianthus hirsutus
Whorled Leaf Coreopsis
Coreopsis verticillata
Virginia Meadow Beauty
Rhexia virginica
Narrow leaf evening primrose
Oenothera fruiticosa
Eastern tiger swallowtail
Papilio glaucus
Southern Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora
Green headed coneflower
Rudbeckia laciniata
Large flower tickseed
Coreopsis grandiflora
Little bluestem grass
Schizachyrium scoparium
Mexican Hat
Ratibida columnifera
Wild quinine
Parthenium integrifolium
Sensitive fern
Onoclea sensibilis
Maidenhair fern
Adiantum pedatum
American Sycamore
Platanus occidentalis
Red Spotted Purple
Limenitis arthemis


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