Journal archives for February 2017

February 04, 2017

iNaturalist DC outing: skunk cabbage blossom hunt & winter tree identification - Saturday February 25, 2017

Yikes, February is upon us and it's time to plan the outing we've tentatively scheduled for the end of the month. The plan is to look for blooming skunk cabbages and to practice our winter tree identification skills while we're at it. Rock Creek Park along Pinehurst Branch is a great place for this, and there's a Metro-accessible trailhead nearby.

I know this section of the park pretty well and can show you where the skunk cabbage patches are. I can also ID most trees during the green season, but this is my first venture into winter tree identification. So unless one of you is an expert, we'll just have to make it up as we go along. We'll be looking at things like bark, growth form, and buds on the twigs, and we'll hunt for leaves and fruit on the ground to match to trees in the vicinity. Of course, we'll take lots of pictures for iNat observations.

Let's meet on Saturday February 25, 2017 in Rock Creek Park at Picnic Grove #8 on Beach Drive, just south of Sherril Drive (see red balloon in map below). There are plenty of parking spots at the grove. Note that both Sherril Drive and Bingham Drive will be closed, and Beach drive will be closed between Picnic Grove #10 and Wise Road. So you MUST approach from Military Road in the south.

Picnic Grove #8 is also easily accessible via Metro and Metro Bus. The Takoma Metro Station (Red Line) is about a mile away, and there are multiple bus lines that stop within a block of the Whittier trailhead (orange balloon in the map below) which is just a 5 minute walk from the meeting point (see map). You can catch the 16th Street buses (S2/S4) at the Silver Spring transit center (going south) or in Columbia Heights (going north, walk 2 blocks west from the Metro Station to 16th Street). Exit the bus at the Whittier stop which is just a few steps from the trailhead. Or you can catch the 14th Street buses (52/54) at the Takoma Metro Station (Bus Bay C, going south) or in Columbia Heights (going north) and exit at 14th & Whittier, then walk down Whittier to 16th Street. The trailhead will be directly across the street.

Depending on weather and people's inclinations, we can do a short loop or a longer loop all the way to boundary bridge and back. See the map for suggested routes. I have also mapped the skunk cabbage patches that I know about.


Tagging everybody who was on the thread for the January gathering and a few more people who have made iNat observations in the DMV area.

@carrieseltzer @muir @briangratwicke @calopteryx @grizzlypieper @maryeford @jbrown @laura_sebastianelli @dossification @nloewen @ehurme @katzyna @csavy @jfrancis @danbeaupre @anneanderson @blairrowan @alonsoabugattas @jhammock @dctr @elliotgreiner @tkirk304 @jackcamino @mattluizza @stsang @judygva @delontadavis @botanygirl @ecologyelise @hughmcguinness @krosenthal @elliotgreiner @treichard @smallthingsrule @vincent12 @dctr @timbir5 @lakekoshare @jgingold @lynnparsons @belyykit @anneanderson @megan44 @somadjinn @ellen15

Posted on February 04, 2017 06:22 PM by treegrow treegrow | 7 observations | 37 comments | Leave a comment