Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rabun County And Beyond: Tate City Road


September 15th, 2012. After driving over Patterson Gap Road in the Chattahoochee National Forest, we turned off Persimmon Raod and drove up the Coleman River Road as far as we could go. We still had some daylight although it was cloudy. We decided to drive up the Tallulah River Road. At the end of the Tallulah River Road, we turned right onto Tate City Road. The valley widens here with the river, much smaller here, on the other side of the fields. We continued on past Tate City and finally ran to the end of the paved road onto a gravel road when it crossed the Georgia-North Carolina border and ended at the head of a trail into the Southern Nantahala Wilderness. On the way, we found…
 
Showy Gentian (Gentiana decora) or Soapwort Gentian (Gentiana saponaria)
Just a few plants growing on an embankment. This one had a nicely opened flower.  My current guess is G. decora but please correct me if I’m wrong. I still struggling with gentians.

The leaves, flowers and buds

A closer view

I tried for better photographs of the opened flower but was balanced precariously on loose pine needles on the side of a steep embankment and didn’t quite pull it off, but…

An oblique view of the flower, and…

A direct view that’s not quite in as quite a sharp focus as I would have liked.

Another land snail (Mesodon sp.?)

Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)
This was the first time I had seen these ferns. They are striking…

at a distance.

A closer view

A close-up view of a frond.

The road ended at the head of a trail into the Southern Nantahala Wilderness


It was getting dark but we wandered along the road near the trail head.

Common Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum subspecies triphyllum)
We found a number of jacks-in-the-pulpit along the hillside above the road. I’ve never seen this species in the wild although I’ve been following a plant of Arisaema triphyllum subsp. quinatum (Southern Jack-in-the-pulpit) in Greene County for a couple of years now.

We spotted the ripe seeds and the leaves gave their identity away.

A closer view of the ripe seeds.

Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus)
I still enjoy finding these in the woods.


Close views of the ripe seeds

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
There were quite a lot of Impatiens capensis plants at the edge of the parking area. The flowers were a little past their best.

 
Pale jewelweed (Impatiens pallida)
Only the second place where I’ve seen Impatiens pallida. There were only a few plants; they were far outnumbered by Impatiens capensis plants.

 
Buckeye seeds
We walked just a little way up the trail. A number of buckeye seed pods with exposed seeds were lying on the trail


 
It was late in the season and almost dark as we walked around this area which is certainly a place we’ll visit again in different seasons.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:
Southeastern Flora

Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:
- Arisaema triphyllum subsp. quinatum (Southern Jack-in-the-pulpit, Preacher John, Prester-John)
 
Distribution:
United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database:
 
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1 comment:

RuneE said...

I see that you can call yourself both a botanist and a photographer as well a microbiologist. Those whites and reds are extremely tricky to get right and I'm impressed by the rest.