Fiery Gizzard Hike

 

It was a busy weekend for the Herbarium. Along with the Botanical Watercolor Workshop we also hosted a botanically oriented hike through Fiery Gizzard on Sunday. On an especially beautiful fall day flodded by the sun’s warmth and the autumnal glow of reds oranges yellows and browns emanating from the forest floor through the canopy,  the events four participants could not have wished four a better setting in which to experience Fiery Gizzard in the South Cumberland State Park.  With an ambitious group wanting to see as much as possible, we were able to not only cover the 2 mile day loop, but were also able to make it down to see Sycamore Falls, which has swelled to impressive amounts of water with the recent rains. While we covered a lot of ground, we were still able to stop and enjoy the flora and talk about the structure of the forest (You can see a selection of the plants we saw here).

Though the leaf displays were captivating, we still took plenty of time to admire the less showy elements of the flora

Here is the Pipsissewa, or spotted wintergreen, we were looking at so closely.

We were even able to find a few flowers in bloom, putting forth one last reproductive effort before the onset of hard frosts and the harshness of the approaching winter.

This gentian provided a nice contrast to the autumnal hues encircling us

Overall, it was a great day and a great event. Many thanks to all of the participants, and to Mary and Yolande for putting me up to leading the trip, and especially to Yolande for walking the trail with me a few days prior to ensure I at least knew somewhat what I was talking about.

Be on the lookout for other upcoming events!

 

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