Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Walk in the Woods

The beach is all but unwalkable today due to high waves and tides from a storm system which has been teasing since early in the week, making consistent strong NE-E winds which whip the the bay, as well as the nearly full moon (tonight is the eclipsing blood moon) which has pushed the water almost up to the dune grasses. Unfortunately, there has been no rain, which we need.
So we did something on the long list of things to due in Calvert County; visited the American Chestnut Land Trust's Parkers Creek property, where they have marked trails just north of us, on the Parker's Creek watershed.
We chose a short loop trail, the Nature Introductory Loop trail. The trails are well marked with blazed trees, and at least on the Nature trail, there were signs pointing out most of the tree species. On the right, is a Persimmon Tree with some ripe fruit.
A Sassafras, with the classic three lobed leaf, starting to get fall color. Sassafras used to be the flavoring for sarsaparilla and root beer (it's synthetic now), but if you get into the roots you can smell the classic "root beer" odor.
The trail winds through some very tall woods, mostly big Tulip Poplars, with lots of underbrush.
Georgia with an unknown (but interesting) fruit cluster we found along the trail, growing on a slender stalk.
 Shelf fungus starting to recycle a dead tree into
There's even a very small Bald Cypress grove in a wet spot along the way back. We're very close to the northern edge of their range, but there are at least three places in the county that they can be found.

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