Tuesday, April 18, 2017

South Carolina Botanical Garden with Patrick McMillan



Our trip to the South Carolina Botanical Garden on April 11 was a wonderful kick-off for spring.
It was an honor to have Patrick McMillan, the garden’s director, lead the tour and give us the background of the garden’s development as a “living outdoor museum and a functioning ecosystem” with South Carolina native plants and native habitats in a garden setting.  Being able to experience all of South Carolina’s native habitats, from coast to mountains, in a single setting is exciting.  And it was evident the care and thought given to the planning and execution of Patrick’s and the Garden’s vision.  I look forward to SAPS making trips to watch the garden develop - and change with the seasons.
You can learn more about the garden and offer your support at http://www.clemson.edu/public/scbg/visit/index.html

As usual, Karen’s photos say it best:



























Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 6 - Asteracea/Composites Walk with Ed Schwartzman


Ed is great at taking a complex subject and making it clear(er) - and helping us see and understand the complexity.
(Remember those 2 Bryophytes walks!)
He didn’t disappoint on composites.  
First he chose a perfect location - a lovely meadow in the Needmore area near the Little Tennessee River that was full of a variety of asters and goldenrods and other composites.  There was also a wooded area for more variety.
Then he explained in detail the structure and parts of composites, before leading us through the area identifying species and helping us understand the identifying characteristics of each.  The subtleties of identification are overwhelming but at least for that day, I felt that I understood and could begin to know many of these beautiful wildflowers that brighten our fall.

As always, David’s and Karen's photos say it best:

David's photos:












Karen's photos:

Late Goldenrod








Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Butterflies on the Greenway with Jason Love


After a pleasant lunch together, Jason gathered us in the Big Bear pavilion to talk about butterflies in general, monarchs in particular and how to use a net.  There are 105 species of butterflies in Macon County, 8th highest in North Carolina.  Detailed info can be found at http://nature123.net/pdf/23rd.pdf Butterflies of North Carolina, updated every year for 23 years.  
Guides recommended by Jason are 
Butterflies through Binoculars:  The East by Jeffrey Glassberg
Butterflies of the Carolinas Field Guide by Jaret C. Daniels

On the walk, using a net presented a challenge and made for some interesting “ballet” moves, but we were able to catch and identify 11 species, listed here in the order they were found.

Sachem Skipper
Pearl Crescent
Viceroy
Cabbage White (only exotic)
Ocola Skipper (first seen in Macon County in 2014)
Red-spotted Purple
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Orange Sulphur
Common Buckeye
Cloudless Sulphur
Great Spangled Fritillary

We were happy to have Sara Posey, Hiawassee Programs Manager of Mainspring Conservation Trust, with Jason.  She will be having a birds & butterflies celebration at Welch Farm on October 1 (8 - 10am - birds, 10-noon - butterflies).  This is open for the general public and I’m sure Sara would love to have volunteers to help.  You can contact her at sposey@mainspringconserves.org or 828-837-6383. 

Thanks to Jason for sharing his knowledge of butterflies and for helping us to see and identify them - and make note of the host plants that support them.




Jason Love teaching us about Butterflies













Viceroy
Yellow Bear Caterpillar