Monday, October 15, 2012

Stephens County: Currahee Mountain – At The Summit

September 14th, 2012. We took off up to Stephens County and explored two separate areas: the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area and Currahee Mountain. After we left the Lake Russell WMA, we drove north to Currahee Mountain.

Currahee Mountain, the highest mountain in Stephens County at 1,735 feet above sea level, rises steeply approximately 800 vertical feet (240 m) above the surrounding area and allows a view for many miles around on a clear day. The mountain lies to the southeast of Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountain crest and is part of the Georgia Piedmont or "foothill" province. It’s a popular place for rock climbers.

The road wound up a relatively gentle incline until it started up the ridge to the summit of the mountain itself. As we rounded a fairly steep bend in the road, I spotted several different wildflowers growing on the top of an gravel embankment. The embankment was too high and steep to climb but several of the flowers were hanging down. Continued from

The view from the summit of the mountain was spectacular

Looking to the south and southeast. This was where my fear of heights kicked in. The path went right along the edge of the summit; it was a vertical drop from the edge of the summit. The rock-climbing sections of the mountain were directly below us.

Carya species  (Hickory)

Hickory nuts

Eupatorium serotinum (Lateflowering Thoroughwort, Late Boneset)

I didn’t take much notice of the plant once I noticed that the plant was covered with…

Atteva aurea (Ailanthus Webworm Moth)

Querqus sp. (Oak sp.)

Ageratina aromatica (Lesser Snakeroot, Aromatic Eupatorium, Small-leaved White Snakeroot, Wild-hoarhound)

The flowers

A closer view. These are exquisite flowers.

The leaves

Symphyotrichum patens (Late Purple Aster)

The flower

The leaf

The Currahee Mountain road was a rich source of wildflowers
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:
Southeastern Flora:

Name that Plant: Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:

J. Pippen, Duke University: Lesser Snakeroot (Ageratina aromatica)

Bug Guide: Atteva aurea (Ailanthus Webworm Moth) [Dorsal] [Lateral]

United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database:
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