Field Trip Recap: Nine Times Preserve, Big Rock Hike, November 15, 2023

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A Perfect Day

By Margaret Sirois

On November 15, on a perfect day for a hike, Dan Whitten led 10 SCNPS members along the Big Rock Trail in Nine Times Preserve. The group learned to identify:

  • A Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) by its “turkey-tail” scale — a reddish stripe on its border
  • A short-leaf pine by resin pockets under the bark (Pinus echinata)
  • And, from a distance, pitch pine (Pinus rigida) by the ball shape of needles at the end of a branch

Growing close to the Big Rock is a large Sparkleberry tree (Vaccinium arboreum) — possibly a champion! — and tasting experiences included Horse Sugar (Symplocos tinctoria) leaf and sparkleberries.

Thank you, Dan for a great hike. We learned so much!

 

Photo Essay by Doug Lockard

 

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