Once out of the pine forest at the beginning, the trail wound through an open deciduous forest that was dominated by oaks and Sweetgums (Liquidambar styraciflua). The landscape was a mixture of browns except for patches of moss. Pines dominated for a good distance of the second part of the trail.
Cut logs stacked between tree trunks. At this time of year, when the trees are bare, ordinary objects provide accents and welcome diversions in the woods.
There were some nice Turkey’s Tail fungi (Trametes versicolor).
I was struck by the number of different lichens I saw along this section of the trail, many of which were fruiting. I’m not an expert on lichens so my identifications are best guesses. An corrections would be appreciated.
A Pixie Cup lichen (Cladonia sp.).
Some small patches of Dixie Reindeer (Cladina subtenuis = Cladonia subtenuis) or Reindeer (C. rangiferina) lichen.
British Soldier lichen (Cladonia cristatella) fruiting bodies .
Mosses were beginning to fruit too. These had been damaged by the snowfall.
Another marker on the trail. These signs are a comforting connection when you’re walking alone on winding trails in the woods where there are few landmarks.
A large slab of stone provided a welcome seat to rest.
I hadn’t seen much evidence of wildflowers in the woods. I don’t recognize these seedpods but I saw similar seedpods in several places along the trail. it’ll be interesting to check them out later in the year.
Another fruiting lichen – a foliose form. My guess is that this might be Parmotrema submarginale.
The trail I had walked. I like to carry a handheld GPS receiver when I walk a trail in an area that I don’t know. That, in combination with a map, gives me confidence that I’m where I think I am, particularly in woods where there are no landmarks to use as reference points.
This unpaved trail in Harbins Park was a pleasure to walk; it was an easy trail a little over a mile long. I enjoyed the texture of the tree trunks and the different shades of brown in the winter woods. Although I made a wrong turn onto the equestrian trail rather than stay on the hiking trail, I was able to determine where I was and continue on the ‘new’ trail with confidence.
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- Gwinnett County Government: Harbins Park
- A Guide to Twelve Common & Conspicuous Lichens of Georgia’s Piedmont
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division: Lichens of Georgia
- Gwinnett County-Harbins Park: Trail Trip #1 (Part 1)