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 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
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 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

Yellow Bear Caterpillar

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Visit to the Gainesville location of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Karen Lawrence contributed these images of the entrance to the Garden

Thanks to David Fann for the following images that portray our visit so well:

And from Karen Lawrence are these images: