Thursday, April 28, 2011

Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve: Frog Pond Trail

Continuing from the RR Trail - Frog Pond Trail

The Frog Pond Trail leaves the woods and traverses the stone outcrop southwards to ruins of quarry buildings. On this stone outcrop, plants grow in ‘corners’ and crevices where soil has accumulated rather than in discreet dish gardens we saw on the Bradley Mountain Trail

A particularly striking area of Elf Orpine (Diamorpha smallii) and moss, with some Oneflower Stitchwort (Minuartia uniflora) on the right.

This trail is marked with cairns similar to those on the Bradley Mountain Trail. Some creative person stacked additional stones onto this cairn to create a work of art.

Much more rock had been quarried from this outcrop. The wall to the left is 6 to 7 feet high. Stone had been removed in large blocks. Elf Orpine is growing in the very shallow soil that has accumulated in the area.

Some rocks in this rock in this area had been cut down into slabs about 6 inches thick. Some had been polished on one side.

This shows how the rock was quarried. Deep holes were drilled to split the rock and shallow holes were drilled to ensure that the rock split along a straight line.

Looking back along the trail. A slightly deeper area of soil is supporting grass in addition to moss, Elf Orpine and Oneflower Stitchwort.

The Frog Pond. This is a relatively small, shallow pond; about 20 feet long and 6 to 7 feet wide. The interpretive sign indicated that Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), Green Frogs (Rana clamitans), and Fowler’s Toads (Bufo fowleri) frequented the pond. There were many tadpoles that looked like Southeastern [Upland] Chorus frogs (Pseudacris feriarum). Southern Cricket (Acris gryllus) frogs were calling while we were standing by the pond. The sign also indicated that Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) snakes might be found sunning themselves on the outcrop.

An unexpected find. A wing from a Luna moth (Actias luna) floating in the pond.

There were a number of Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanata) dragonflies flying around the pond; this male was sunning itself on the rock. In addition to the Blue Corporals, quite a number of Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) dragonflies were also flying over the pond. They didn’t settle so we weren’t able to photograph them. There were also some small green damselflies flying among the sedge just above the water.

Looking back along the trail just beyond the Frog Pond. A series of four cairns shows the way we had come. It was a short walk to the end of the Frog Pond Trail where we found ruins from the old quarry…

The remains of a weigh station.

An old quarry building. The windows to the left have bars. This appears to have been an office and garage.

The doorway from the garage area looking into what appears to have been an office.

From here we ventured out along the Rocky Trail to find the Fern Trail…

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Related posts:
- Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve: RR Trail - Frog Pond Trail
- Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve: Bradley Mountain Trail (Part 1)

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