2nd Sunday Trip Report: The Healing Garden

Despite the threat of rain, several intrepid Auduboners recently took the opportunity to walk in the Moses Cone Cancer Center Healing Garden at Wesley Long Hospital. And even though we did get a brief shower, followed by some sun, we thoroughly enjoyed the outing. Mary Magrinat, Chair of the Healing Garden project, told us about the two-year old garden while we waited under some big garden umbrellas for the shower to cease. And then we strolled.

We were pleased to see a variety of native plants, shrubs and treees mixed with some non-natives. The paths meander through the garden, along N. Buffalo Creek, and through the small wetland complex in the center of the garden.

This lovely area is not just for patients at the Cancer Center but welcomes everyone to take a quiet stroll among the wonderful plants, birds and other critters that inhabit this place. The garden entrance is just a short distance from the main hospital entrance. Check it out. — Jack Jezorek

Blue Ridge Parkway Field Trip on Saturday September 30

The Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) in late September is a beautiful place to end our summer fun enjoying nature and welcome the beginning of autumn. T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society will journey to the BRP on the last Saturday in September. We hope you’ll join us for a fun field trip on Saturday, Sept. 30. Please let us know if you plan to do so.
 
This outing is for naturalists of all kinds, no matter where your interests lie. We have set it on this date because the end of September is prime time for Monarch migration, and these beautiful and interesting butterflies tend to follow the BRP on their journey south to Mexico. For the birders among us, the date also is near the peak of migration for hawks. We will pay attention to plants, too, and late summer wildflowers will be blooming in profusion. Some of the leaves will have begun to take on autumn colors, as well. There will be something to see for just about everyone.
 
We will begin our day on the BRP at the Blue Ridge Music Center at Milepost 213 just inside Virginia. Meet at 9:30 in the parking lot. We’ll spend some time in the meadows and along the woodland edges around the grounds. If we find a lot to see and linger until lunchtime, we’ll have our bring-your-own picnic at the center. Be sure to bring food and plenty to drink because we won’t be near stores or restaurants.
 
From the music center we will work our way slowly southwest along the BRP toward Sparta, stopping along the roadside periodically to check flowering meadows and woodland edges. We won’t do much hiking; it will be a drive-and-stop kind of trip. If we have time and there is interest, we could continue on to Doughton Park.
 
This trip is open to everyone, so bring family and friends, including older children. (No pets, please.) This is a joint outing with Piedmont Bird Club and NC Native Plant Society, so there is sure to be a wealth of knowledge and expertise for nearly every area of interest.
 
What to bring: There are restrooms and water at the Blue Ridge Music Center but no facilities beyond there. Bring snacks and food for picnic lunch, and be sure to bring plenty of water. Wear sturdy shoes and a hat, and you may need a sweater early in the day. Bring field guides that suit your particular naturalist interests and any field equipment you like to use such as hand lens, binoculars, and scopes. DO NOT bring nets for butterflies and dragonflies. No collecting of specimens of any kind is allowed on the BRP. However, photography is welcome and there should be plenty of photographic opportunities.
 
Cancellation: A little earlier morning fog and drizzle won’t deter us, but the trip will be cancelled if the forecast is for inclement weather all day. Check the forecast for Sparta, NC, before departing from the Triad. (The long range forecast is for a clear sunny day.)
 
RSVP if you plan to join us so we can send you any updates on meeting time, place and itinerary. Contact the trip leader, Dennis Burnette, deburnette@triad.rr.com.

Meet-and-Greet Event at Scuppernong Books

Image of Scuppernong grapes courtesy of Wikimedia
Image of Scuppernong grapes courtesy of Wikimedia

When: Sunday, August 13, 2:00 to 4:00 pm

Where: Scuppernong Books

What: Meeting and greeting, and general socializing

 

 

Don’t miss this fun event! Pearson Audubon folks have limited chances during chapter activities to interact and  to get to know one another better. To counter this dearth of “face time” the board wants to hold more purely social events, perhaps several times each program year. The first of these for the 2017-2018 chapter year will be held in place of the August Second Sunday Walk. Instead of walking we’ll do some talking—with new members, not-so-active members and with“old hands”. We’ll share bird sightings, chat about good places to walk and get in some R&R on a Sunday afternoon.

Our Meet-and-Greet will take place at Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. in Greensboro. On weekends, parking is free in all City of Greensboro lots and decks so you’ll have no problems finding a space. Parking is also available on Elm St. right in front of Scuppernong Books.

The chapter will provide light snacks and iced tea, but adult and other beverages will also be available for purchase. If you are new to Audubon or have not been able to attend many chapter functions, come on down to Scuppernong and meet each other and some of us long-time members. New in town? This is a great way to get to know Greensboro and the local environs. We “old timers” can fill you in on what we do and answer questions you have about the chapter and its activities. So come on down to spend a pleasant afternoon with fellow Auduboners,  or just stop in to say “Howdy”. We’ll be pleased to see you.

A Pleasant Afternoon in Peabody Park

Coreopsis Verticillata Photo by L. Chrump courtesy of Wikimedia
Coreopsis Verticillata Photo by L. Chrump courtesy of Wikimedia

Sunday, June 11 was a bit warm and humid. It is summer after all. But fifteen eager Auduboners took to the fields and woods in UNCG’s Peabody Park to see what nature had to offer. We were not disappointed. The newly-constructed wetland in the Park Fields had attracted a variety of dragonflies and damselflies. Black-eyed Susans and Coreopsis in the native plant prairie attracted several butterfly species—sulfurs and cabbage whites. At least a dozen bird species were seen or heard between the fields and woods, including Titmice, Catbirds, Towhees, Bluebirds, Song Sparrows, Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens, and Fish Crows.

Photo by Glenda Simmons courtesy of National Audubon Society
Eastern Bluebird; Photo by Glenda Simmons courtesy of National Audubon Society

The Park Woods offered welcome shade and a host of both native and  exotic plant species, most of which were expertly identified by Ann Walter-Fromson. Walkers also marveled at some of the Shortleaf  Pines that the University had sampled with a boring tool to determine their age. The oldest we saw that day was estimated to have germinated in 1837. We clambered over a couple of fallen trees to get a close look at the wetland in the woods. Around the edge of the small pool we discovered a number of freshly-dug tunnels that we guessed were the work of crayfish which may have migrated from the creek just a few yards away. The stream provided a good look at several small fish species; this is good news, because while crayfish were found there in the past, fin fish had been sadly absent. Nature is resilient.

All in all, a pleasant day on campus enjoying a variety of nature’s treasures just a mile from downtown Greensboro.