(Go to my Flickr collection to see pictures from Day 1)
Our first class/hike was on Terrestrial insects led by ranger Andriean Mayor. We started on the Ashopper Branch Trail near the Sugarlands Visitor Center. We saw swallowtail butterflies, parasitic wasps, beetles, millipedes, and lots of different caterpillars. As we hiked up the trail it started to rain but we still continued on. At one point, we heard a loud clap of thunder and then a giant tree falling. We couldn’t see the tree so we were happy that we weren’t near it but we decided to turn back at this point. On the way back, the lady in front of my husband (who was in front of me) stopped to look at something on the left side of the trail. All of a sudden a tree fell on her! The main trunk of the tree missed her head by inches but the branches got her head and arm. We could see that it tore her rain coat and her shirt with some scratches but that is all we saw. Later that night we saw her and she showed us that her whole arm was black and blue! The rangers even called EMS to look her over and said that she might have some broken bones in her hand! It was an exciting morning.
After lunch we had a wildflower hike at the Oconoluftee Visitor Center led by ranger Caitlin Worth. It was a lovely hike along the river. We saw the following plants:
3. Cancer root (near stonecrop)
4. Meadow Parsnip
5. Golden Alexander (near the meadow parsnip)
6. Wood Bettony (reminds me of heal-all but has yellow flowers)
7. Narrow leafed toothwort
8. Jack in the Pulpit
9. Catesby’s Trillium (white nodding trillium)
12. White phacelia
And we even saw a snake, but I’m not sure what kind it was.
n the evening we saw a Chautauqua type program with a man portraying William Bartram. It was interesting to see life from the person’s point of view.
Tomorrow I will share with you Day 2 of our pilgrimage!
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original photo by Pat Hensley