Monday, October 21, 2013

Pictures from the Appalachian Trail




My friend Fred and I hiked the Springer Mountain approach to the Appalachian Trail this last weekend... what a beautiful place.
 

We camped one night on top of the mountain, then hiked down again via a different route. Along the way I was impressed by how different the plants were from those in Florida. There were very few I could nail down definitively. Some were familiar, like oaks, hickories and poison ivy... but others were foreign to me.


Those look like violets, but the leaves are very tough and glossy. Maybe it's a variety I haven't encountered before. I also hadn't seen ferns like these:


Or a bug like this:


This plant looks like it came from Mars:


Trilateral symmetry! War of the Worlds! And speaking of terrifying creatures, I had never in my life seen a tree like this:


Yikes. 

One plant I was very pleased to see (and proud of myself for recognizing) was an American Ginseng:


The leaves had wilted away, but the fruit was a dead giveaway. I'm not sure how I knew what it was, but I did. I saw this guy and went "ginseng," then thought... how the heck did I know that? I must have seen an illustration at some point.


I don't think I'll ever hike the entire trail, but this was a great trip. If you ever get a chance to go to Springer Mountain, especially with a knowledgeable hiker like my friend Fred... take it. You gotta get out of the garden every once in a while.


7 Comments:

At October 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM , Blogger MClemons said...

The Appalachian Trail is amazing, Amicalola falls state park is beautiful. I've hiked the first 40 miles or so after the approach trail and it is covered in interesting flora and fauna.

Hope you had time to check out burt's pumpkin farm, Mercier's apple orchard and the Dahlonega gold mines!

 
At October 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM , Blogger MClemons said...

The Appalachian Trail is amazing, Amicalola falls state park is beautiful. I've hiked the first 40 miles or so after the approach trail and it is covered in interesting flora and fauna.

Hope you had time to check out burt's pumpkin farm, Mercier's apple orchard and the Dahlonega gold mines!

 
At October 21, 2013 at 6:44 PM , Blogger Gardens-In-The-Sand said...

Your 'ferns' are running cedar (Lycopodium digitatum), and your ginseng is Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum).
I'm drawing a blank on your 'violets' right now... but your trilateral symmetry looks like Indian cucumber root (Medeola virginiana).
Looks like you had a nice walk... Did you get any camping done?

 
At October 21, 2013 at 7:59 PM , Blogger Arisia said...

The trilateral symmetry looks to me like trillium. I used to hike the Appalachian Trail up near New Jersey as a kid, and we would pick wintergreen leaves and nibble on them.

 
At October 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

No... I missed a lot of the local stuff. Just a two day hike and a one-day camping trip. There are nothing like orchard apples in fall, though.

 
At October 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

Hey... good plant ID there. Thank you. We got one night's camping in. It was great.

 
At October 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

I looked up trillium but couldn't make a positive match. It looks close, though.

 

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