Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blanton Creek Wildlife Management Area, Harris County, Georgia: Fall Wildflowers

November 9th, 2011. On our way back from the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, we entered Georgia at West Point in Harris County. We drove southeast on GA-103 and stumbled on the Blanton Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Unlike the roads in most WMAs, the roads in the Blanton Creek WMA are labeled clearly. The roads on the downloadable maps are not labeled; the roads on the map available at the Check Station are labeled. You’d have to work to get lost in this WMA. In addtion, the map available at the Check Station shows the vegetation types in different areas including the years in which planted pine forests were established.

The entrance into the WMA is on Upper Blanton Ferry Road off GA-103. We drove the length of this road as well as the side roads, Cut Through Road and Boat Ramp Road. Although the map shows Cut Through Road entering the WMA from GA-103, the gate at the highway is closed.

As we drove along Upper Blanton Ferry Road, it became apparent that the open areas along these roads were rich in wildflowers which were still blooming.

This looks like a Chrysopsis sp. but, unlike Chrysopsis mariana (Maryland Goldenaster), the leave have opened away from the stem whereas those of C. mariana are usually folded against the stem.

A clump of asters, probably Symphyotrichum pilosum (White Oldfield Aster). These flowers are bigger than those we see in north Georgia

A closer view

A Liatris sp. This looks like Liatris pilosa or Liatris aspera (Shaggy Blazing Star).

Helenium amarum (Bitterweed).

Symphyotrichum patens (Late Purple Aster). One of my favorites that the moment.

This Helenium amarum (Bitterweed) plant has gone to seed but still provides interest to the landscape.

I think this is Croptilon divaricatum (Slender Scratchdaisy)

Its flowers – up close

Euphorbia corollata (Flowering spurge), I saw just this one plant.

Seeds of Jacquemontia tamnifolia (Hairy Clustervine). All that are left now.

This is what the flowers of Jacquemontia tamnifolia look like. I photographed this in Putnam County, Georgia, in late August.

A lone Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) feeding on a Symphyotrichum patens (Late Purple Aster) flower. A few weeks ago we saw a dozen or more migrating through the Oconee WMA on Lake Oconee.

Developing seed pods. These are probably for Oxalis rubra (Purple Woodsorrell) we’ve seen blooming in several areas recently.

An Agalinis species (a false foxglove)

With its hoverfly

We found just one clump of Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) plants in the shade by Upper Blanton Ferry Road

Remains from the past. A chimney is all that remains of a homestead near the end of Boat Ramp Road. At the time it was occupied, the house would have stood high above the Chattahoochee River.

The Blanton Creek WMA is unique in its excellent signage making it a friendly place to visit. We were surprised by the variety of wildflowers still blooming this late in the year. This may be a good place to visit in different seasons. These weren’t the only flowers we found last week. The most exciting one for me next
Click on an image to view a larger image


- Blanton Creek WMA

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index

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