I spent the morning on the Mountain Goat Trail with Forest Pilkington, who is working on an information system for trail users that will employ 2D barcodes. Forest plans to set up several of these along the 2-mile paved walking/biking trail to relay information about the ecology of the plateau, the town of Sewanee, the history of the Mountain Goat Railroad, and more. He and I were mainly talking about – you guessed it! – plants and plant habitats along the trail. We were able to distinguish several types of plant communities, including the mixed oak forest, an ephemeral pond, a pine plantation, and a clearcut with early-succession plants. Forest plans to have his barcodes installed by sometime this fall. They should add an interesting and informative aspect to the popular pathway.
Botanizing on the Mountain Goat