Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ramble Report March 24 2016

Here's the link to Don's Facebook album for today's Ramble. (All the photos in this post are complements of Don.)
Today's post was written by Don Hunter, Linda Chafin and Dale Hoyt.

Twenty-eight Ramblers met today – a glorious spring morning!

Today's reading: Jackie Elsner sang a poem by Byron Herbert Reece, a north Georgia poet (1917-1958). Jackie has been adapting Reece poems to the music of Christian Harmony Shape Note songs. This one is sung to the tune of "Watchman" (No. 255 )

Friday, March 18, 2016

Ramble Report March 17 2016

Here's the link to Don's Facebook page for today's Ramble. (All the photos save one in this post are complements of Don.)
Today's post was written by Dale Hoyt.

Twenty-six ramblers came dressed in green today to match the emerging leaves – or was it some other holiday?

Today's reading: We had two contributions, the first from Mary Ann who read an excerpt from Hal Borland's Twelve Moons of the Year, p. 27:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ramble Report March 10 2016

Here's the link to Don's Facebook page for today's Ramble. (All the photos in this post are complements of Don.)
Today's post was written by Don Hunter and Linda Chafin with edits by Dale Hoyt.

Thirty two ramblers showed up today, either a record high or a tie.

Eleanor mentioned an OLLI group trip to Costa Rica later this summer. The leaders are UGA entomologist and a horticulturist. Spaces are still available (you will need to be an OLLI member to participate.)

Today's reading:
 Bill Pierson read the description of Shooting Stars in Curtis's Flower Garden Displayed, 120 plates from 1787 to 1807 with new descriptions from Tyler Whittle and Christopher Cook, 1991, Magna Books Winston Leicester, p. 108. Bill says: "I chose this flower, since our own Dodecatheons should be flowering sometime soon."

SHOOTING Stars. as the Americans descriptively name this genus, is principally
confined to the east coast of their continent. It was twice introduced to Europe. On the first occasion seeds were sent late in the l7th century by the clergyman-naturalist John Baptist Banister, a martyr to botany for, according to one version, he was shot while collecting, and, according to another, he fell a great height and broke his neck. The seeds were sent to his Bishop. Henry Compton, for not only were all Crown dependencies then considered as a part of the Diocese of London. but the Bishop was a famous plantsman, The pleasure grounds of his palace were virtually a botanic garden and there Shooting Stars were sown and grown. Then either the plant disappeared or stocks in cultivation were so low that it became a variety known to very few. A second introduction took place in about 1745. It was successful and Mark Catesby, in his flora of the early colonies, gave it the generic name Meadea after a fashionable
London physician who practised medicine partly in his own home but chiefly in a city coffee house. Linnaeus considered it a misplaced honour. Dr. Mead might be physician to the King of England, the Prime Minister. Sir Isaac Newton. and the poet Pope, but botanically he was entirely undistinguished. In an unusual burst of irritation the Great Systematist arbitrarily used Dr. Mead's name only for this species and the genus he renamed Dodecatheon, from the Greek for twelve gods, a figure suggested by the average number of its 'stars'.

At that period the flower was greatly popular in England. It was figured in one of the most fascinating flower books ever published, Dr. Thornton's Temple of Flora, and Dr. Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of the author of Origin of Species and poet of some remarkably awful floral verses, was moved to describe the five turned-back mauve petals and the prominent stamens, in a quatrain of careful observations:
Meadia's soft chain five suppliant beaux confess,
And hand in hand the laughing belle address;
Alike to all she bows with wanton air,
Rolls her dark eyes, and waves her golden hair.


Today's route:
Leaving the arbor, we made our way down the walkway through the Shade Garden and took the first mulched trail into the Dunson Native Flora Garden (DNFG). We exited the DNFG through the south gate in the deer fence and headed for the ephemeral pools to check on the tadpoles, then returned to the parking lot via the south White Connector trail.

Parking Lot:

Native Azalea bud
Native azalea in bud at beginning of Shade Garden walkway:   wild azalea, sweet azalea, Piedmont azalea – Rhododendron cancescens. “Canescent” means ”covered with short, fine gray or white hairs” which describes the bud scales covering the soon-to-open buds.

Shade Garden:

Camellia flower
White and red camellias along the paved Shade Garden path; all cultivars of the same Asian species.

Japanese pachysandra flowers at tip of stem

Alleghany spurge flower buds at base of stem
Japanese pachysandra in bud, flowers held at the tip of the plant stem......our native pachysandra (Alleghany spurge) in the DNFG produces flowers from a short stem at the base of the plant stem


Crossvine....growing from duff and up the base of a northern red oak
Green & Gold
Green-and-gold in flower

Bloodroot in bud and in flower

Mixed age Trillium leaves
Patch of young (second or third year) single-leaved trillium, maybe seeds deposited in an ant nest formed the patch. Trillium life cycle: first year underground, second and third years single leaf comes up, next year very small plant with characteristic three leaves though small, won't flower until around 7 years old. Further along, past the spring beauties, is a little patch of trillium with all visible growth stages present:  single leaf babies, young and small three leaf plants and the stems of mature plants, leaves browsed by deer

White avens leaf rosette, the leaves with characteristic green and white pattern and deeply toothed margins.   

Carolina spring beauty
Carolina spring beauty...Claytonia caroliniana … there is a specialist pollinator, the spring beauty bee (Andrena erigeniae), that only visits spring balls of pollen on legs.. (Other insects can and do pollinate spring beauties.) Carolina spring beauty has narrowly elliptic leaves, widening at the middle and tapering at both ends........Virginia spring beauty plants (C. virginica) have narrower, grass-like leaves that are the same width from top to bottom.   Spring beauties are spring ephemerals, meaning the plants come out in early spring when there is little or no canopy and complete their entire life cycle and disappear within 6 or 8 weeks, after the tree canopy becomes a solid cover.

Hearts-a-bustin'/Strawberry bush    Young and stripped bare by deer  .....deer candy

Early bluegrass (/) flowers & seeds
Native Poa (probably Early Bluegrass, Poa cuspidata)......thin bladed grass in clumps....juncos like to eat the seeds.....Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is not a native grass, native of Europe.

American trout lily patch
American trout lily (Erythronium americanum) patch  

Etymology of rue...comes from plant ruta from Greek word used for a lot of plants.....Ruta leaves look a little like our meadow rue

Red tailed hawk
Red tailed hawk perched on low limb for several minutes with nice view.    

Ashe's magnolia buds unchanged since end of February

Sharp lobed hepatica blooming

Shooting star foliage but no sign of flowers yet. The scientific name, Dodecatheon, means “twelve gods” and was given by Pliny the Elder (23 – 79A.D.) who believed these wildflowers were under the care of the twelve principal Greek gods.

Partridge berry …....foliage only

Green-and-gold in full flower.

Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) in bud

Cut leaf toothwort
Cut leaf toothwort (Dentaria laciniata) with four petals, like all plants in mustard family. Many of these have pink petals. Two leaved toothwort also seen.

Native honeysuckle/coral honeysuckle.....not blooming      

Pippsissewa/Spotted wintergreen foliage  

Paw Paw  Two species in north Georgia...a tree species, Asimina triloba, and a shrubby one, small-flowered or dwarf pawpaw, Asimina parviflora, which is found in the DNFG...paw paws need to be pollinated by carrion flies or other flies attracted to the flowers odor to produce fruit.

Golden ragwort
Green-and-gold and golden ragwort are two of the earliest blooming composites....

Coral bells in leaf only.    

Walter's violet
Walter's violet/Prostrate blue violet is one of the stemless blue violets. Violets come in two forms, stemmed and stemless.

Allegheny spurge, our native pachysandra...found buds under are strongly fragrant, sometimes you can smell them from several feet away .... pollinated by insects that are attracted by the fragrance and search for the nectar.       

Leatherwood        Introduced 30 years ago into DNFG and has slowly spread to several locations within the DNFG

Pleated sedge (or plantain-leaf sedge or seersucker sedge) have green scales on the female flowers and purple on the male flowers, both on the same stem. They usually mature at different times to prevent self- pollination. (See the photo with the Japanese pachysandra account, above.)

Newly emerged Painted buckeye leaves
Painted Buckeyes are leafing out now, found over much of the DNFG, particularly along the hillside bank; the Yellow Buckeye, a tree transplanted to the garden from the mountains, has not even begun to open its buds.

American Hazelnut pistillate (female) flower
American hazelnut in flower:  male, pollen-producing flowers held in drooping catkins. One female flower with its red style branches, was seen as the tip of a twig.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is covered with yellow flowers and has sprouted leaf buds. Its female and male flowers are on separate plants; our plant is a female. Linda said this was the source of the old fashioned medication, tincture of benzoin, but that is incorrect. Tincture of benzoin derives from a tropical plant in the Storax family. Spicebush is in the Laurel family and is native to North America.

Trout lily (Erythronium umbilicatum), with dimpled rather than pointed fruit, growing on stump, already in fruit.

Virginia bluebells coming along      
Yellow anise   Florida anise      
Silverbells  with distinctive tan and gray striped bark    

Beyond DNFG/ROW (White Connector Trail):

Tadpoles       American toad........Southern leopard frog. Call of the American Toad very loud, seems to come from trees on the west side of the ROW.
Armadillo tracks in mud    
Field madder

Purple dead nettle

Common blue violet (white morph)

Common blue violet (blue/purple morph
Flowers seen blooming: Ground ivy, Common blue violet, Purple deadnettle, Kidney leaf buttercup. Field madder, Indian strawberry or Mock strawberry (from Asia) and Rue anemone continues to bloom at the base of the White Connector spur trail.


Common Name
Scientific Name
Parking lot
Wild azalea,
Piedmont azalea
Rhododendron canescens 
Shade Garden
Early flowering borage
Trachystemon orientalis 
Camellia japonica
Chattahoochee trillium
Trillium decipiens
Japanese pachysandra
Pachysandra terminalis
American beech
Fagus grandifolia
Dunson Native Flora Garden
Bignonia capreolata
Chrysogonum virginianum
Sanguinaria canadensis
White avens
Geum canadense
Carolina spring beauty
Claytonia caroliniana
Strawberry bush
Euonymous americanus
Early bluegrass ?
Poa cuspidata ?
American trout lily
Erythronium americanum
Two-leaved toothwort
Cardamine diphylla
(=Dentaria diphylla)
Red tailed hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
Ashe's magnolia
Magnolia asheii
Painted buckeye
Aesculus sylvatica
Sharp lobed hepatica
Anemone acutiloba
(=Hepatica nobilis acuta;
=Hepatica acutiloba)
Shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia
Partridge berry
Mitchella repens
Perfoliate leaf bellwort
Uvularia perfoliata 
Cut leaf toothwort
Cardamine concatenata
(=Dentaria laciniata)
Native honeysuckle,
coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens
Spotted wintergreen
Chimaphila maculata
Dwarf Paw Paw
Asimina parviflora
Golden ragwort
Packera aurea,
(=Senecio aureus)
Coral bells
Heuchera micrantha
Walter's violet,
Prostrate blue violet
Viola walteri
Allegheny spurge
Pachysandra procumbens
Dirca palustris
Pleated sedge
Carex plantaginea
Lindera benzoin
American hazelnut
Corylus americana
Wood poppy
Stylophorum diphyllum
Virginia bluebells
Mertensia virginica
Yellow anise/Florida anise
Illicium parviflorum
Silverbell tree
Halesia carolina
Beyond DNFG; Power line ROW
Ground ivy
Glechoma hederacea
Common blue violet
Viola sororia
American toad
Bufo (Anaxyrus) americanus
Southern leopard frog
Rana (Lithobates) sphenocephalus
Dasypus novemcinctus
Purple deadnettle
Lamium purpureum
Kidney leaf buttercup
Ranunculus abortivus
Field madder
Sherardia arvensis
Indian strawberry,
Mock strawberry
Duchesnea indica
White Connector trail
Rue anemone
Thalictrum thalictroides