© Bob Pickett
DATE:June 11, 2006
LOCATION: Appalachian Trail, North District, SNP
HIGHLIGHTS: Black rat snake 15í up in a locust tree. Formerly domesticated apples and pear trees were found, as was the native wild plum.
HIKE ITINERARY: This was Hike #4 in the Audubon Naturalist Society series for the North District. This hike covered 5.3 miles, from Hogback overlook to Thornton River trailhead
GEOLOGY: Principally Catoctin Greenstone, with Chilhowee Weverton and Hampton formations south of Elkwallow Wayside.
Canopy: Typical oak-hickory forest with red, white, chestnut oaks, and mockernut, pignut hickories. Other canopy species include black cherry, red maple, beech, white ash, blackgum, tulip tree, black locust, black birch, ailanthus, white pine, basswood.
Subcanopy: Striped maple, flowering and alternate-leaf dogwood, witch-hazel, redbud, fire (pin) cherry, hop hornbeam, shadbush, box elder, slippery elm.
Shrub Layer: In flower, deerberry, Mountain laurel, wild hydrangea. Others included roundleaf gooseberry, common elderberry, choke cherry, coral berry, viburnum (mapleleaf, blackhaw), beaked hazelnut.
Herbaceous Layer: In flower, fly poison, wild columbine, bluets, meadow parsnip, tall meadowrue, dwarf cinquefoil, false Solomonís Seal, Solomons Seal, rattlesnake weed, golden and balsam ragwort, downy phlox, coral bells, morning glory, poke milkweed wild stonecrop, common fleabane. Others included black snakeroot, wood betony, wild geranium, wild sarsaparilla, perfoliate bellwort, common blue, early violets, sweet cicely, chickweed, yarrow, bedstraw, cleavers, mullein, wingstem, burdock, cutleaf and slender toothwort, Jack-In-The-Pulpit, hepatica.
Ground cover and vines: In flower, blackberries. Others included poison ivy, wild grapes, Virginia creeper, greenbriar.
Ferns and fern allies: The hike starts out with populations of interrupted fern and hay-scented fern. Other ferns seen during the hike included marginal and intermediate wood fern, Christmas, New York, rock polypody, maidenhair, broad beech, oak, ebony spleenwort, lady fern.
Reptiles: Black rat snake up in a tree.
Birds: Scarlet tanager, ovenbird, tufted titmouse, wood thrush, great-crested flycatcher, indigo bunting, warblers (Cerrulean, American redstart, chestnut-sided), yellow-billed cuckoo, red-eyed vireo, raven.
Mammals: Chipmunks, deer.
Invertebrates: Butterflies included red-spotted purple, tiger swallowtail, spring azure, yellow sulfur, cabbage white.
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