Nature

Ramble Report October 21 2021


Chief for at present’s Ramble: Linda
Hyperlink to Don’s Fb album for this Ramble
Variety of Ramblers at present: 27
In the present day’s emphasis:  Bushes and different vegetation on the flood plain
Studying:  Bob Ambrose learn his poem, To Convey You Magnificence.

I’d carry you magnificence
if I solely knew how.
I’d slip into spirit,

dissolve into autumn breeze
which carries the scent
of crimson sage

to clouds of yellow butterflies
within the afternoon gentle
of their lives.

Because the press of obligation fades,
the busy pings, the pressing beeps,
and rumble of distant machines –

I hover with a bumblebee
within the spell of a purple aster.
I drift in scented air

on a lilting riff of mockingbird-song,
the swerve of a skipper,
a toddler’s giggle

by the elusive realm
the place magnificence infuses all being.
I’d carry you a portion

however, reaching, it slips
by re-embodied palms
and recedes like time itself,

its lingering afterglow
mirrored in clouds
of night gnats.

 

Present and Inform:

Overcup Oak Acorns

Linda introduced a brief terminal department from an Overcup Oak with leaves and several other acorns. She fooled us all when she requested what oak group the Overcup belongs to, White or Purple? These courageous sufficient to guess known as out Purple, however Linda corrected us by displaying that the pointed lobes did not have bristle ideas.

Ravenel’s Stinkhorn

Kathy Stege introduced a stink horn fungus, pale in shade and the higher third coated in darkish slime that comprises the fungal spores. (The technical time period for the slime is “gleba.”) Stinkhorns entice flies with their odor. The flies eat the gleba, ingesting the fungal spores as effectively, after which fly off to different locations. The spores cross by the fly’s digestive system unhurt.
For extra info (and photographs) take a look at this photograph essay by an everyday reader of this weblog:
Stinkhorns: Fungi No One Can Love? by Dr. Robert Wyatt


Bulletins/Fascinating Issues to Notice:

        Emily reported that the minimal variety of Nature Rambler t-shirts had been ordered, so when you had been holding again, you may nonetheless place your order earlier than the primary of November. Two shades of blue, Navy and Sapphire, and several other types. You may both pickup your order or have it mailed to you for a small further cost. Bear in mind, the extra you order the extra the Backyard will get to assist the brand new Butterfly Path.

In the present day’s Route:   We left the Pergola utilizing the walkway beside the Youngsters’s Backyard consolation station heading over to the mulched path just under the Forest Play space.  This joins the White Path Spur which we adopted to the Orange Path Spur, which we adopted to the Center Oconee River floodplain.  On the river, we turned left on the Orange Path, going downriver to the beaver marsh boardwalk.  We returned again to the Purple Path, taking it again to the Customer Middle.

OBSERVATIONS:

 

Ramblers paused on the Orange Path above the river, to debate the attribute landforms of a many southeastern floodplains. Standing on the toe slope above the floodplain we may simply view the flooded slough, the river levee, and the river itself. Many Piedmont rivers are lined with low, sandy berms known as levees. These type when the river repeatedly overflows its banks and soil carried within the floodwater is deposited on the floodplain. The heaviest and largest soil particles – sand – fall out first, forming sandy levees alongside the river’s financial institution. Because the floodwaters proceed to maneuver throughout the land, finer soil particles – clay and silt – settle out, forming deep layers of fine-textured soil. Semi-permanently flooded areas known as sloughs or again swamps type within the lowest areas of the floodplain. These are a particular characteristic right here on the Backyard. Gary informed us about an outdated Native American time period for a slough – a “yazoo” – for which the river and city (Yazoo Metropolis, Mississippi) are named (and likewise a nationwide wildlife refuge within the Mississippi Delta).

Anybody concerned about studying extra concerning the ecology of southeastern river ecology, can learn an amazing report written by Georgia’s personal Charlie Wharton in 1982: http://npshistory.com/publications/usfws/biological-reports/81-37.pdf

Dr. Wharton additionally wrote a report on the pure communities of the Botanical Backyard out there right here.

View of floodplain from Orange Spur Path

A number of species of flood-tolerant timber happen in abundance within the Center Oconee River floodplain, together with Tulip Tree, Candy Gum, Purple Maple, Inexperienced Ash, Field-elder, River Birch, and American Sycamore.  Most of those timber may thrive in uplands however could also be outcompeted by upland hardwoods akin to oaks and hickories.

Bushes
in flooded habitats usually have buttresses and swollen bases which
enhance stability and will assist to aerate the foundation system. The highest of
the swollen space corresponds to the depth of the flooding.

Purple Maple with burls throughout its trunk. When reduce, these burls make the much-prized chook’s-eye maple lumber.

Silverbell
Hop Hornbeam

Two understory timber which might be usually discovered on toe slopes above floodplains are Silverbell, with its distinctive striped bark, and Hop Hornbeam with rows of holes drilled by Yellow-belled Sapsuckers.

 

Massive, feminine Joro spider on her internet.
Very small male immediately above her.

Coming into the floodplain, we encountered a big Joro spider feminine on her internet. Immediately above her was a really small male. This disparity in dimension between female and male spiders is particularly frequent among the many orb-weavers. In non-orbweavers the 2 sexes are extra almost the identical dimension.  So why ought to sexual dimension disparity have advanced within the orb-weavers? There have been many hypotheses advised, however, to this point, none have been convincing sufficient to have answered the query. An excellent latest overview, written for a normal viewers, is out there right here.

 

Inexperienced Ash leaf

Inexperienced Ash is plentiful within the wetter a part of the floodplain. Its leaves are reverse and composed of 5 – 9 leaflets and its twigs are a uninteresting, gray-green.

Whereas strolling the path on the toe slope, we occurred upon two graduate college students from the Warnell Faculty of Forestry who had been surveying Inexperienced Ash timber for an unique and invasive beetle referred to as the Emerald Ash Borer. One of many college students, Mitchell Inexperienced, defined that their purpose is to assist develop a plan to battle this insect which started devastating ash timber in Michigan in 2002 and has not too long ago been present in Georgia. At present, they plan to import a species of parasitoid wasp as a type of biocontrol. Woodpeckers additionally just like the larval type of EAB and could be a supply of pure management. For more information, see: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/faq_eab_biocontrol.pdf.

Emerald Ash Borers kill timber by laying their eggs within the bark; when the larvae emerge they bore into the ash timber and feed on the dwelling tissues below the bark, disrupting the motion of water and vitamins all through the tree. An infested tree dies inside 2-4 years.

Emerald Ash Borer beetle  
Tunnels made by EAB larvae feeding slightly below the bark.


Field-elders are plentiful within the floodplain and will be simply recognized year-round by the clusters of branches that emerge from the decrease a part of the trunk. These branches come up from dormant buds below the bark which might be stimulated to sprout by some sort of stress, akin to department breakage. Younger branches and twigs are vibrant inexperienced all yr. Through the summer season, search for reverse, compound leaves, often with 3 or 5 toothed leaflets. The three-leaflet leaves look quite a bit like Poison Ivy leaves. And simply to complicate issues, generally Poison Ivy grows up a Field-elder tree! Search for Poison Ivy’s bushy stem to inform them aside.  

Poison Ivy rising on the base of Field Elder.

Clusters of paired samaras on Field Elder
Notice: the “wing” shouldn’t be bilaterally symmetrical.

A single samara of Inexperienced Ash;
the “wing” is extra symmetrical than that of Field Elder.

Field-elder fruits are paired and winged, betraying the truth that it’s really a species of maple. In contrast with the winged however a lot narrower fruit of Inexperienced Ash, which doesn’t happen in pairs.

Purple Mulberry leaves

Purple Mulberry timber, one other understory tree typical of bottomlands, are present in considerably elevated elements of the floodplain the place water doesn’t stand for lengthy stretches. Most Purple Mulberry leaves are kind of heart-shaped and sandpapery to the contact. Some leaves might have a mitten-shape with one or two deep sinuses. In that case, it is attainable the tree is a hybrid with White Mulberry (Morus alba), a local of east Asia. White Mulberry, the tree that helps the silk moth, was dropped at Georgia in 1733 by Oglethorpe as an effort to develop a non-cotton, slave-free agricultural various for the brand new colony. Sadly, Oglethorpe’s dream of a slave-free colony collapsed in lower than a decade below stress from farmers who noticed their neighbors in South Carolina reaping the earnings to be made in cotton cultivation by enslaved Africans. White Mulberry leaves are typically clean and hairless, or solely barely tough to the contact, and often have a number of lobes and sinuses.

A fallen River Birch

Fallen River Birch trunks are seen all alongside the levee and the adjoining Orange Path. Usually discovered on levees, these timber have toppled because the riverbank erodes. The curling, papery bark is a particular indicator of this floodplain species.

Frosted Aster??

Small White Aster??

There are at the very least two species of fall-flowering white asters alongside the Orange Path. They and two different frequent white asters are very laborious to inform aside. Our greatest guess is that these are Small White Aster and presumably Frosted Aster. Kathy reported that these species make nice backyard plantings, changing into fairly giant and bushy below cultivation. And the flowers final a very long time!

Minimize-leaf Coneflower remains to be flowering although clearly on its method out.

Winged Elm is a bottomland tree and likewise an upland tree, fairly fortunately thriving alongside interstate highways and upland ridges in addition to in wetlands. The small, rounded rectangular plates that make up its bark make some individuals consider tongue compressors.

Winged Elm leaves

Winged Elm bark

 

Pokeweed remains to be flowering and setting fruit whilst older fruits are withering on close by crops.

Climbing Hempweed

 Climbing Hempweed makes use of pokeweed and different vegetation as a pure trellis. Though a member of the composite household, this species lacks ray flowers, however its showy curved types branches and mildly candy scent name within the pollinators.

 

Delicate Fern

Delicate Fern has not but succumbed to cooler night-time temperatures however will likely be one of many first to wither within the chilly when it comes.

Tearthumb flowers

Tearthumb stem

Tearthumb flowers attest to their membership within the smartweed genus Persicaria, however nothing else on this genus (or on this habitat) has the sawtoothed stems that basically will tear your thumb, to not point out palms and arms.

An excellent-large clump of Widespread Blue Violet dwarfs a wise telephone.
Take that, Large Tech!
Leaves of an American Sycamore tree rising close to the riverbank.
Downy Lobelia
The sinewy trunk of a Musclewood tree,
one other member of the understory alongside riverbanks.
The outdated beaver marsh is beautiful within the low gentle of autumn.
Rice Cutgrass dominates the grassy marsh. . .

. . .it too will go away your fingers in shreds when you rub your hand alongside the stiff hairs on its stem.
Japanese Magnificence-berry

Japanese Magnificence-berry, with its small leaves and berries, is planted elsewhere within the Backyard and has escaped and turn out to be established on the fringe of the marsh.

Duck Potato is frequent all through the marsh.

A single plant of Buckthorn Bumelia, rising on the base of the Purple Path.
Because the path turned upslope, typical upland species,
akin to Chalk Maple, started to appear.

Rusty Blackhaw

Rusty Blackhaw; Decrease leaf floor midvein.  

Rusty Blackhaw, one other upland species, rising alongside the Purple Path. Its identify comes from the clumps of rust-colored hairs alongside the midvein on the decrease floor of the leaves.

The V-shaped formation of migrating geese flying above the river is a harbinger of cooler climate.

SIGN OF THE TIMES.

Assist!! I am falling!

 

SUMMARY OF OBSERVED SPECIES:

Overcup Oak                        Quercus lyrata   

“Ravenel’s Stinkhorn”           Phallus ravenellii

Jap Leaf-footed Bug      Leptoglossus phyllopus
American Beautyberry        
Callicarpa americana
Tulip Tree                            
Liriodendron tulipifera
Sweetgum Tree                   
Liquidambar styraciflua
American Sycamore            
Platanus occidentalis 

 Purple Maple                           Acer rubrum
Winged Elm                         
Ulmus alata
Mountain Silverbell              
Halesia tetraptera
Hop hornbeam                     
Ostrya virginiana
Joro Spider                          
Trichonephila clavata
Field Elder                             
Acer negundo
Poison Ivy                            
Toxicodendron radicans
Purple Mulberry                        
Morus rubra
River Birch                            
Betula nigra 

Small
White Aster                  Symphyotrichum racemosum


Frosted Aster    
                    Symphyotrichum pilosum
Dotted Smartweed                
Persicaria punctata
Inexperienced Ash                             
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Trumpet Vine                         
Campsis radicans
Minimize-leaf Coneflower               
Rudbeckia laciniata
American Pokeweed              
Phytolacca americana
Delicate Fern                        
Onoclea sensibilis
Climbing Hempweed              
Mikania scandens
Tearthumb                              
Persicaria sagittata 

Widespread Blue Violet               Viola sororia
Downy Lobelia                        
Lobelia puberula
Chalk Maple                            
Acer leucoderme
Duck Potato                            
Sagittaria latifolia
Rice Cutgrass                         
Leersia oryzoides
Beautyberry                            
Callicarpa sp.
Buckthorn Bumelia                  Sideroxylon lycioides

Rusty Blackhaw                       Viburnum rufidulum

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