Jim McWalters led a lovely walk last weekend along part of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Loudoun County. Below is his recap from the walk.
As the weather heats up this summer, the cool woods and nice breeze tha comes off the ridge is a great place to escape the heat (and explore some great wild places!)
Summer Stroll Along the AT
June 16, 2012
The low humidity and blue skies made for a picture perfect day for the “stroll” along the AT this past Saturday. The hike took us along the AT just north of Rt. 9 and then down to the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship.
Along the way the group spotted of variety of birds and plant life (see list below). Up at the top of the power line on the south side of the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, we spotted a weird looking yellow flower – Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) we believe?
We also saw a cute little native bee stuffing his pants full of pollen, a monarch butterfly, and a green iridescent tiger beetle along the AT. We concluded the walk with a visit to beautiful Gordon Pond before heading back to the Blue Ridge Center by crossing both the Sweet and Piney Run.
Cardinal, American crows, Bluejays, Tufted titmouse, Carolina wren, Redstart, Acadian flycatchers, Red-eyed vireo, Pileated woodpecker, Flicker, Catbird, Blue-grey gnatcatcher, Ovenbird, Woodthrush, Scarlet tanager, Eastern wood pewee, Robin, Field sparrow, Song sparrow, Chipping sparrow, White breasted nuthatch, Common yellowthroat, , Goldfinch, Turkey Vulture
Skunk cabbage, Poison ivy, Oxeye daisy, Common fleabane, Common mullein, Milkweed (great year for this one; tell the Monarchs!), Deptford pink, Hopclover, Bull thistle, Peppergrass, Nightshade , Common yarrow, Paw Paw