PAC & Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) 2017 Programs
Each month (except December), PAC & WCP will offer a Saturday morning program/presentation at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve. Programs are free of charge, open to all ages, and begin at 10:30 a.m. (more info. below)
PAC/WCP programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from Mary Merritt and Bob and Babs Strickland.
January 21 – “Seeing with New Eyes,” macro-photography with Ben Mullinax
Ben will use photography to explore the quote by Dorothea Lange that “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” He will show participants how we can use photography to explore and find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and show examples of how changes in lighting, time of day, shadows, perspective/viewpoint makes this possible. Ben’s hope is that the presentation will help people rethink how they view their own photography and also that it might be useful to non-photographers who will have the opportunity to learn to appreciate and practice “seeing” in a new and different way. The presentation will include photography of nature scenes and macro photography that reflects the points above.
February 18 – “North Carolina’s Red Wolves: An Imperiled Future” presented by Christian Hunt with Defenders of Wildlife.
Christian will discuss the history, biology, threats, political atmosphere, and benefits that the Red Wolf brings to our ecosystem.
Click here to read an article about the Red Wolf from the Laurel of Asheville
March 25 – Annie Martin, popularly known as “Mossin’ Annie,” will present “The Magical World of Moss Gardening” & option to attend a workshop (see ** below).
(More info to come!)
Check out her website to learn more about Mountain Moss’ and moss products.
April 29 – Simon Thompson, owner of Ventures Birding Tours, will present on Birds!
(more info to come!)
May 27 – Mycologist, Tradd Cotter, will present, “Amazing Fungi – The Dark Matter that Bounds all Life.”
Join mushroom expert Tradd Cotter, mycologist and founder of Mushroom Mountain, for a fascinating lecture on native plants and their fungal partners. In order to sustain life on this planet, a complex matrix of organisms has evolved to orchestrate the balance. Plants and fungi have merged and continue to unveil the benefits of collaborating with nature. We have a lot to learn from these relationships, and understanding the respect they have for each other can teach us more than just soil biology. Our native plant communities are communicating through their own internet, reaching out to other organisms to help repair the ecosystems that perpetuate life on this planet.
Click here to check out his website
June 17 – Tanya Poole, NCWRC Education Specialist, will present on Bats!
When we think of biodiversity our minds often wander to the far corners of the globe but one of the world’s great centers of temperate diversity is right here in our own back yards, the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment. Join Patrick as he takes an in-depth look at this often overlooked region of the Appalachians that harbors endemic and ancient relicts from the distant past that have long-since disappeared from the rest of the continent. This is the heart of the most diverse temperate broad-leaved forest on the continent and it has served time and again as a refuge during change and an engine of biodiversity production. This is the only place in North America you can find Oconee Bells, and there are more species of Trillium, Hexastylis, and Salamanders here than in any other comparably sized region on the continent. There is something all these species share in common. They can’t move very fast, they can’t quickly retreat from change. These plants and animals need a place to call home that can accommodate change–that is resilient in the face of change. The unique position, climate, and highly dissected and varied topography of the ridges and gorges of the southern Blue Ridge escarpment have provided this crucible for life in the face of change again and again. They hold biodiversity in the face of climatic adversity and exhale their treasures to the entire region when conditions improve. Recognizing the importance of this region lends strong support to the conservation of as much of this system as possible and identifying the routes in and out of this corridor into the rest of North America. Eloquent design could produce a network of conservation corridors to buffer change in the eastern deciduous forest, ensuring that our children’s children’s children will enjoy the same diversity of life we do today.
Since 2015, David Campbell has been doing an inventory of the flora, habitats, and some fauna found within Polk County, documenting the rare and unique biodiversity that makes Polk County so special. During his presentation, David will share his findings from the 2-year study with the community.
September 23 – “Wilderness from an ecological, cultural and aesthetic perspective,” presented by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert
Jennifer Frick-Ruppert is the author of “Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians,” and a professor of biology and environmental science at Brevard College. During her presentation, Jennifer will also discuss wilderness management from the present into the future.
Fireflies flashing on a warm summer night. The eerie glow of jack-o-lantern mushrooms in the forest on a moonless night. These lights bring mystery and magic to the dark night. Join us as we discover how light is produced and emitted from living organisms and how it used to lure prey, deter predators and entice insects.
(more info to come!)
Click here to check out her website.
The Southern Appalachian Mountains region is recognized as one of the most floristically diverse areas in North America. Its rich forests and wet, boggy meadows provide the perfect environment for dozens of species of our colorful and mysterious native orchids. Stretching from West Virginia to northern Alabama, the rolling hillsides are host to orchid flowers from March to November.
Many of our native orchid species are quite small, and some of them would not be recognized as orchid species except by a trained naturalist. Learning to identify a few of the more common species will add richness to any hike in the woods.
While there are only three of our native orchid species that keep their green leaves through the winter, many of those that lose their leaves in the fall will leave their characteristic seed capsules behind for identification. If you know where to look, it is surprisingly easy to find many of the more common orchid species even on roadside margins within easy reach for photography and study.
Come join us for an in-depth look into the jewels of Southern Appalachian flora.
Jim Fowler was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina. As a child, under the influence of his father and maternal great-grandmother, he developed an interest in nature in general and wildflowers in particular. An independent botanist and a software systems developer, Jim holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University. He lives with his life partner in Greenville, SC.
Jim’s writing has appeared in the North American Native Orchid Journal, American Orchid Society’s Orchid magazine, the Native Orchid Conference Journal, South Carolina Native Plant Society’s monthly Newsletter, and numerous other publications. He is the author of Wild Orchids of South Carolina: A Popular Natural History, which was published in 2005 by the University of South Carolina Press. His photographic images have appeared in numerous magazines, newsletters, and websites in North America as well as overseas.
Check out his photography blog: www.jfowlerphotography.com.
Botanist Tim Spira will show beautiful photographs of common and conspicuous, as well as rare and unusual, spring wildflowers including trilliums, trout lily, wild ginger, mayapple, bearcorn, Jack-in-the-pulpit, pink lady’s slipper, cucumber root, Oconee bells, and many others. In addition to helping you identify spring wildflowers, we will discuss fascinating features about their ecology and natural history, which will enhance your understanding and appreciation of spring wildflowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
May 9 – Dennis Chastain will present, “Appalachian Sampler,” at 6:30 p.m.
Dennis Chastain is an award-winning outdoor writer and interpretive naturalist and his “Appalachian Sampler” presentation is a representative sample of natural and cultural features characteristic of the Blue Ridge segment of the ancient Appalachian Mountains. He has put together a slide show composed of moonshine stills, animal tracks, scats and spoor, and a tantalizing sampling of the nearly 1,200 flowering species of wildflowers, trees and shrubs that grace our Carolina mountain region; along with ancient Indian petroglyphs, rock shelters, waterfalls and finally, a pictorial survey of snakes and reptiles.
June 8 – naturalist, Carlton Burke, will present “Owls – Masters of the Night,” at 2:00 p.m., part of the Landrum Library’s “Summer Reading Program.”
Owls are mysterious birds of prey which are seldom seen due to their nocturnal lifestyle and secretive habits. This program will introduce you to the fascinating lives of these unusual birds and their unique adaptations for life in their nighttime world. The program will also feature live owls as guests.
July 18 – naturalist, Tim Lee, will present, “Salamanders of the Carolinas,” at 6:00 p.m., part of the Landrum Library’s “Summer Reading Program – Family Fun Night.”
The Carolinas are home to the greatest diversity of salamanders on earth. The presentation will highlight salamander diversity and describe many of the species found in the area. The program will include live specimens!
August 29 – Dr. Jack Turner and Beth Button, from the USC Upstate Watershed Ecology Center will present on “Watersheds” at 6:00 p.m.
(more info to come!)
The PAC Spring Hiking Series begins February 17th!
- February 17 – DuPont Stat Forest, Thomas Cemetery loop & Wintergreen Falls, 7-miles, easy, loop
- March 3 – Pisgah N.F., Coontree loop to Bennett Gap Trails, 6.6-miles, moderate, in the shape of a lollipop
- March 17 – Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Pinnacle Pass and Naturaland Trust trails to Moonshine Falls, 5.6-miles, moderate, out & back
- March 31 – Pisgah N.F., paralleling the Davidson River to the North Slope trail, onto the Connector trail, then Art Loeb, 8-miles, moderate, loop
- April 14 – Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Asbury Trail, 6.8-mile, moderate, out & back
Complete all five of the hikes this spring and receive a custom bumper sticker acknowledging your accomplishment!
SAVE THE DATE!
Click here for the American Hiking Society’s list of 10 essentials for hiking.
Click here for the American Hiking Society’s “Tips for your next hike.”
Click here for the American Hiking Society’s instructions on “How to use a compass.”
Click here for the Thrifty Outdoors Man’s “43 Useful Hiking Tips and Tricks.”
Click here for directions to the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve.
Click here to use Google maps to get directions to the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center from your location.
GPS coordinates to the entrance of Walnut Creek Preserve (at Aden Green Road and Herbarium Lane): 35°22’21.95” N, 82°09’46.18” W
The Landrum Library is located between the Town of Landrum and I-26, on Hwy 14. The address is: 111 Asbury Dr, Landrum, SC 29356
Click here for a link to Google Maps.