The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

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James Parton
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The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by James Parton » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:55 pm

ENTS,

Back in July 2007 Joy and I hiked the beautiful section of the Mountains to Sea trail known as the Rattlesnake Lodge section. Rattlesnake lodge was an old summer home of the Ambler family during the early 20th century but all that is left now is a few ruins. It was aptly named. I photographed a pretty Timber Rattler here near the old home ruins at that time.

http://www.exploreasheville.com/what-to ... index.aspx

During the late summer of 2007 I found many wildflowers in bloom here. Yellow Touch-Me-Not, also known as Jewelweed, carpeted the forest floor in places. Also the color of the flowers is yellow. Not the more usual orange. Coneflowers are common here too. On last Sundays 2010 visit earlier spring flowers are in bloom like Trillium and the Hawthorns are in flower too. So are the Dogwood trees. Whether herbacious plant or tree this patch of forest always has plenty of colorful flowers in bloom.

On Sundays visit ( May 25th ) I measured a nice Tuliptree near the trail. I call it the " Rattlesnake Poplar ". It is 106.2 feet tall and 12' 1" in girth. It's probably one of the oldest and biggest trees in the woods here. I would guess it's age between 90 and 120 years. I was heading in on this visit to measure two American Chestnut trees. One was 24.2 feet tall and the other 25.2 feet tall. See the American Chestnut section for the post on these trees for more details.

I intend to return again to check out the Hawthorns. Some are decent sized. I have identified one species as Cockspur.

Ok, ENTS. Help me id these plants in the pictures. Those with the " Need Id " titles. Pictures without 2007 in the file name were taken last Sunday, May 25 2010.

James
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Need Id 1.JPG
Need Id 2.JPG
Need Id 3 2007.JPG
Need Id 3 2007.JPG (28.02 KiB) Viewed 2571 times
Need Id 4 2007.JPG
Timber Rattler 2007.JPG
Trillium.JPG
Coneflower.JPG
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
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New Order of Druids

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edfrank
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by edfrank » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:53 pm

James,

Nice photos. I ask where the trail was located in a previous post because I want to cross list the acocunt with the chestnut snags in both the American Chestnut project forum and in the proper location forum - NC. I can move it from one forum to the other and leave behind a shadow topic so that it appears and can be repsonded to in both the original forum and the forum to where it was moved.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Jess Riddle
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by Jess Riddle » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:51 pm

James,

I think the second photo is of hairy waterleaf (Hydrophyllum macrophyllum), which is a fairly rare species in NC, but Josh Kelly knows that species much better than I do. It generally occurrs on calcareous or mafic rocks, and is known from the Craggy Mountains. The third photo is tall bellflower (Canpanulastrum [Campanula] americana), which while not as demanding as hairy waterleaf also requires rich soils. The forth plant is Japanese spiraea (Spiraea japonica), a locally problematic exotic. Your first photo is of a very distictive species, and it would be a good one to practice your identification skills on.

Jess

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James Parton
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by James Parton » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:27 pm

Jess,

Your knowledge of woodland plants is impressive. You always pull through. I make a point to try to remember all the pictures you id on ENTS.

I will see if I can figure out what the 1st plant is. My guess is an invasive. It looks familiar.

James
James E Parton
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Josh Kelly
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by Josh Kelly » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:56 am

James,

I agree with Jess, the 1st photo is of a very distinctive native flower and it is a useful one to practice your identification skills on. I recommend Newcombe's Wildflower Guide for you and other beginners. The flower in question has five petals and is zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetric). It is also an indicator plant for soils with abundant base nutrients.

Nice Rattlesnake picture!

Josh

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James Parton
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by James Parton » Sun May 02, 2010 4:15 pm

Josh,

I'll have to see if I can look that flower up. While I have three field guides on trees I have none on wildflowers. I gotta change that.

Check out this rattlesnake I came across on while hiking the Cat Gap Trail in Pisgah National Forest. I have no irrational fear of snakes but deep respect for them. Rattlers are very pretty.

James
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Timber Rattlesnake.JPG
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
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New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Larry Tucei
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue May 04, 2010 2:50 pm

James, Nice flower photos! The snake photos are good to. That Eastern Diamondback has a nice coloration! Do they rattle much up that way? Larry

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James Parton
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Re: The Rattlesnake Lodge section of the MST

Post by James Parton » Tue May 04, 2010 8:39 pm

Larry,

It is actually a Timber Rattler. Easterns are found down near the coast and have a different pattern. They are larger and more venomous too.

The rattle sounds like a buzz. Almost insectlike. Not like the rattle portrayed on old western films.

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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