Sewanee Field Adventure Part 2: Spectacular Shakerag

On July 2, the group went on a hike through the part of the old growth forest known as Shakerag Hollow on the Sewanee Campus. The biodiversity and number of forest herbs was simply unbelievable! We were led by the knowledgeable, funny and helpful botanist Dr. Evans. I saw quite a few lifers in many categories! The highlights were eating ripe blueberries off of the bushes, a Giant Stag Beetle on a tree, flowering Adam’s Needle, Wild Hydrangea’s distinctive leaves, the cool configuration of a sandstone overhang, tall and numerous Daisy Fleabane flowers, mesmerizing Spiderwort flowers, the Q & A song of the Red-eyed Vireo, the high-pitched whistle and sight of a Broad-winged Hawk, the smell of broken Spicebush leaves, the unique leaf of Bloodroot, a towering Persimmon, the peeling bark of the Shagbark Hickory, the dainty, pale-yellow flowers of the Pale Touch-Me-Not, the lone blooming Catchfly flower in the space between boulders, the lime-green leaves of the Cucumber-Tree, the interesting fronds of the Rattlesnake Fern, the speckled body of the Leopard Slug, the sporophyte and gametophyte bodies of star and sphagnum mosses, the flat gametophytes of a species of Liverwort, the oversized leaves of the Southern Catalpa, the mammoth forest herb known as Mayapple, the pointed leaves of the Maple-leaf Viburnum, the chained white flowers of Sourwood, the 5 leaflets of a Yellow Buckeye leaf, a miniscule scorpion, vast beds of Reindeer Lichen, the desert-style Prickly Pear Cactus, the charming Northern Ringneck Snake, the red-speckled leaves of Black Cherry, the endangered Elf Orpine, and the beetle-pollinated flowers of the sought-after Mountain Camellia.

Birds (12 species, 0 lifers):

Blue Jay – Heard

Chimney Swift – Seen and Heard

Carolina Wren – Heard

Red-eyed Vireo – Heard

Great-crested Flycatcher – Heard

Broad-winged Hawk – Seen and Heard

Northern Cardinal – Heard

Eastern Phoebe – Heard

Carolina Chickadee – Heard

Carolina Wren – Heard

Eastern Bluebird – Seen

Killdeer – Seen and Heard

Trees (22 species, 7 lifers):

Sassafras

Red Maple

Sugar Maple

Sourwood

American Basswood

*Persimmon

Pawpaw

*Yellow Buckeye

Shagbark Hickory

*Cucumber-Tree

Kentucky Yellowwood

White Oak

Chestnut Oak

Tulip Poplar

*Black Locust

*Southern Catalpa

Blackjack Oak

Virginia Pine

Eastern Redcedar

*Black Cherry

*Mountain Camellia

Mockernut Hickory

Shrubs (7 species, 4 lifers):

Adam’s Needle

*Wild Hydrangea

*Spicebush

American Bladdernut

Blueberry

*Maple-leaf Viburnum

*Mountain Laurel

Vines (5 species, 0 lifers):

Virginia Creeper

Poison Ivy

Greenbrier

Muscadine

Blackberry

Ferns (2 species, 1 lifers):

Christmas Fern

*Rattlesnake Fern

Wildflowers (6 species, 2 lifers):

*Catchfly

Daisy Fleabane

Hop Clover

Spiderwort

*Pale Touch-Me-Not

Greater Tickseed

Other Herbaceous Plants (9 species, 6 lifers):

*Bloodroot

*Blue Cohosh

Celandine Poppy

Wild Geranium

*Bellwort

*Liverleaf

Wild Ginger

*Indian Cucumber Root

*Elf Orpine

Cacti (1 species, 0 lifers):

Prickly Pear Cactus

Mosses (2 taxa, 1 lifer):

*Star Moss

Sphagnum Moss

Liverworts (1 taxa, 1 lifer):

*Liverwort sp.

Clubmosses (1 taxa, 1 lifer):

Clubmoss sp.

Lichen (1 taxa, 0 lifers):

Reindeer Lichen

Odonata (2 species, 0 lifers):

Common Whitetail – Female

Ebony Jewelwing

Reptiles (2 species, 1 lifer):

Fowler’s Toad

*Northern Ringneck Snake

Insects (2 species, 2 lifers):

*Giant Stag Beetle

*Longhorn Beetle

Other Arthropods (1 taxa):

Scorpion sp.

Mollusks (1 species, 1 lifer):

*Leopard Slug

DSCN5535

Adam’s Needle Yucca Flowers

DSCN5536

Adam’s Needle Yucca Leaves

DSCN5542

Daisy Fleabane

DSCN5547

Leopard Slug

DSCN5551

Bloodroot

DSCN5554

Spicebush

DSCN5562

Celandine Poppy

DSCN5569

Wild Hydrangea

DSCN5577

Cucumber-Tree

DSCN5581

Mayapple

DSCN5583

A small waterfall

DSCN5587

Bladdernut

DSCN5589

Elephant Stag Beetle

DSCN5592

Northern Ringneck Snake

DSCN5598

Rattlesnake Fern

DSCN5608

Yellowroot

DSCN5610

Clubmoss

DSCN5619

Moss sporophytes where spores are contained in the setae – the capsule at the ends of the projections

DSCN5624

Haircap Moss

DSCN5627

Blueberry

DSCN5633

Sweet Tooth

DSCN5652

Greater Tickseed

DSCN5656

Blackjack Oak

DSCN5658

Prickly Pear Cactus

DSCN5677

Female Common Whitetail

DSCN5683

Catchfly

DSCN5685

Maple-leaf Viburnum

DSCN5687

Longhorn Beetles pollinating a Mountain Camellia flower

DSCN5689

Black Cherry

DSCN5722

Spiderwort

DSCN5733

Black Locust

DSCN5655

Reindeer Lichen