Sewanee Field Adventure Part 1: Overgrowth Unveiled

For the past two weeks, I attended a fantastic camp hosted by the Sewanee Environmental Institute on the spectacular 13,000 acre campus of the University of the South. The biodiversity in the old growth forests of the Cumberland Plateau is incredible. On the first day alone I got a number of lifers. Our group took a walk with Dr. Smith, a Professor of Religion, but also an encyclopedia of knowledge about the area’s natural history and the various plants living there. We took a walk through some areas with very thick overgrown vines and other plants. These areas were old home sites so we also spent some time talking about the homes that were on the sites.

Birds (10 species, 0 lifers):

American Robin

Blue Jay

Northern Cardinal

Song Sparrow

Carolina Wren

Chimney Swift

Gray Catbird

American Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Northern Flicker

Trees (23 species, o lifers):

Eastern White Pine

Sassafras

Tag Alder

Red Maple

Eastern Sycamore

American Holly

Southern Magnolia

Apple sp.

Eastern Redcedar

Tulip Poplar

American Elm

American Beech

River Birch

Flowering Dogwood

Green Ash

Shagbark Hickory

Kentucky Yellowwood

Black Willow

Post Oak

Eastern Redbud

Eastern Hemlock

Boxelder

Shrubs (3 species, 3 lifers):

*Spicebush

*Witch-hazel

*Adam’s Needle

Vines (7 species, 2 lifers):

*Spurred Butterfly Pea

Smilax

Vetch

Trumpet Creeper

Blackberry

Muscadine

*Summer Grape

Wildflowers (7 species, 1 lifer):

White Clover

Common Dandelion

Iris

Daisy Fleabane

Oxeye Daisy

Hop Clover sp. – probably Little

*Greater Tickseed

Ferns (1 species, 0 lifers):

Christmas Fern

Amphibians (1 species, 0 lifers):

Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Damselflies (1 species, 0 lifers):

Ebony Jewelwing

Mammals (2 species, 0 lifers):

Eastern Chipmunk

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Rocks and Minerals (2 types, 1 new):

Coal

*”Sewanee” Conglomerate

Exotic Invasives (6 species, 2 lifers):

Oriental Bittersweet

*Lesser Periwinkle

*Multiflora Rose

Mimosa

Chinese Privet

Japanese Honeysuckle

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“Sewanee” Conglomerate

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Vetch

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Spurred Butterfly Pea

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Poison Ivy

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