The area of the park I had walked so far were open and relatively dry. Although it was sunny when I started out, the clouds had rolled in and the sky was gray. In this section between the first and the second footbridge, I was going to encounter a different ecosystem in this eastern section.
The trail immediately past the bridge went straight uphill for about 50 yards – it seemed like forever – before it turned, climbed a little and leveled out. The trail surface was bare and slippery after the recent snow. Several people had walked it before me and you could see where they had slipped frequently. I finally stepped off the trail and walked in the softer soil. It was hard going but better than slipping. Not necessarily a good trail to plan to hike in wet weather.
The trail rolled up and down and twisted and turned pleasantly.
Then the trail then zigzagged eastwards into a wetter area. This was characterized by frequent and larger patches of moss than I'd seen previously.
I found this clump of Old Man's Beard Lichen (Usnea sp.) lying by the trail.
There were several of these tree trunks with appendages that look like shark fins. I think they may be Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) but I’m not sure. If anyone can solve this mystery I’d appreciate it.
The areas was thick with American Holly (Ilex opaca) trees. The area had an eerie atmosphere. I expected a mist to rise at any moment.
A few spikes of Silver Plume grass (Saccharum alopecuroides) seemed out of place in an open area on the trail.
I wonder who lives in this burrow. The walls were freshly disturbed; it's not abandoned.
Somebody has been hunting for insects in these holes in a Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) snag.
This eastern, circular loop is the section of trail that passed through the holly forest.
Leaves of the Cranefly Orchid (Tipularia discolor). The leaves grow during the winter and spring but die back before the orchid blooms in late June-early July. I’ve only seen two small patches of leaves in Harbins Park so far.
Arriving at the second footbridge. These are relatively new, well-constructed ‘fancy’ footbridges compare with most encountered in parks. The ‘planks’ are recycled plastic; hence the warning that they may be slippery when wet or icy.
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- Gwinnett County Government: Harbins Park
- Gwinnett County-Harbins Park: Hiking Trail. Part 1, Trailhead To Footbridge #1
- Gwinnett County-Harbins Park: Trail Trip #1 (Part 1)
- Gwinnett County-Harbins Park: Trail Trip #1 (Part 2)