John Grego, 08/21/2007
I took advantage of a temporary dip in temperature (high of 95!) to visit the Garrick Road tract. I had intended to make only a short visit to the longleaf pine forest there. But when I reached the muck swamp, it looked dry, so I struck out southward. Other than a couple small puddles, the swamp was dry. I heard, then saw, a Hairy Woodpecker during one stop, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were near one of the puddles. Leaving the swamp behind, I passed some impressive loblolly pines, a couple big (but not huge) cypress trees with wide branching crowns, and a well-documented 16' swamp chestnut oak. Hiking was very pleasant through this open forest.
I had cheated to the west on the way south, so when I headed back north, I ran into the pine plantation that extends well into the floodplain on the west end of the tract. This area has changed alot since the last burn--it used be dense and dark, but it's opened up nicely.
On the last part of the hike, I flushed a few Chipping Sparrows--I'm still awaiting the day other longleaf savannah specialists return to this tract.
Carolina Satyrs were the most common butterfly on the floodplain
One of many Maryland Meadow Beauties in the longleaf pine forest
Meadow Beauties have attractive urn-shaped seed capsules
This Eastern Box Turtle was hung up on the pine cone (I removed the cone)
The large Swamp Chestnut Oak
Perennial Wild Bean
May 11, 2008 by Edward Kujawski
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