Sunday, May 5, 2013

Our trip to Balsam Mountain Preserve on May 4, 2013 by Karen Lawrence

Eleven participants braved the ominous conditions and enjoyed learning about the history of the preserve and the purpose.  The nature center is full of information about this area with artifacts, a tree bark learning experience, live animals for demonstration and education including a Bald Eagle, a Kestrel, an alligator and various snakes.    Michael Skinner was full of information to share with us.  While listening to Michael we were treated with great views of several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Chipping Sparrows and a Brown-headed Nuthatch,  After visiting the center he led us on a walk along Sugarloaf Creek, which was moderate terrain that followed the creek with log bridges and a gradual decline in elevation .  Many wildflowers were in bloom in this lush environment.  Some we saw were:  Bishop's Cap; Mitella diphylla, Foam Flower; Tiarella cordifolia, Large-flowered Bellwort; Uvularia grandiflora, Large-flowered Trillium; Trillium grandiflorum, White-erect Trillium; Trillium erectum forma albiflorum, and Purple Wakerobin; Trillium erectum var. erectum, Wood Anemone; Anemone lancifolia,
Wild Geranium; Geanium maculatum; Robin's Plantain; Erigeron pulchellus, Yellow Mandarin; Disporum lanuginosum, Common Blue Violet; Viola papilionacea, Solomon Seal; Polgonatum biflorum, False Solomon's Seal; Smilacina racemosa,
Rue Anemone; Thalictrum Thalictroides, Jack-in-the-pulpit  Arisaema triphyllum, Toothwort; Dentaria diphylla, Doll's-eyes; Actaea pachypoda, Showy Orchis; Galearis spectabilis, Umbrella Leaf; Diphylleia cymosa, Blue Cohosh; Caulophyllum thalictroides, Wild Ginger; Asarum canadense, May Apple; Podophyllum peltatum, and Southern Nodding Trillium; Trillium fugelii.

Following the hike Michael drove us to the restaurant where they had relocated some species and we were able to see the Goldenseal; Hydrastis canadensis.  

Following are some images from our adventure:

Columbine in the parking lot

Blue Cohosh

Umbrella Leaf


Showy Orchis

May-apple Bloom


Wild Geranium

Southern Nodding Trillium

On Sugarland Creek

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