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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Neversink Mountain Walk - part 1

Reading, PA from Neversink Mountain

For several years when Jan an I went looking for native plants we either went to places we are familiar with in our area like Nolde Forest Env. Ed. Center, Shenk's Ferry and Pennsylvania State Game Lands #52 on the Berks/Lancaster County line south of Maple Grove or we went to the NJ Pine barrens. In recent years we have been going on field trips with the Muhlenberg Botanic Society to learn more about native plants in our area and we have had a great time. iin the last fw months we have learned that he Mengel Natural History Society of Berks County where we live has field trips to some very interesting locations which we have wanted to see for a long time but didn't know exactly where to go for the "good" plants or where the public access is to the areas.

After meeting Karl Gardener last year when he volunteered to help collect and wildflower seed at the Union Twp. meadow, I arranged a trip with Karl to the Berks County Conservancy property on Neversink Mountain in Reading. This mainly quartzite hill is on the southern side of Reading, PA.

we went on a Sunday in mid-September and had a great time. We found many interesting and uncommon plants and butterflies and enjoyed the wonderful views.

A view of the Pagoda on Mt. Penn above Reading, PA.

A trail lined with Schizachyrium scoparium (Little blue-stem grass).

Solidgo biclor
, Silverrod

Silene stellata
, (Starry campion) was still blooming in a clearing in the woods.

We found this large patch of Polypodium virginianum, (Common Polypody fern, Rock-cap fern) growing on soil at the of a tree.

hickeyi W.H. Wagner, Beitel & Moran
(Pennsylvania clubmoss
or Hickey's Clubmoss) with strobili (sporophytes) present.
(This species has been called Lycopodium obscurum L. var. isophyllum Hickey and in the recent Peterson Field Guide to the Ferns this is called Dendrolycopodium hickey.)

Diphasiastrum tristachyum
(Blue ground cedar) was nearby. This was formerly called Lycopodium tristachyum. This species is most common in the Poconos and in the central mountains of PA.

American Copper
butterfly on a black-berry leaf.

A Gray hairstreak on Solidago nemoralis
(Gray-stemmed goldenrod)

A female Red-spotted purple butterfly landing on a black cherry leaf,

backing down the leaf until the tip of her abdomen reaches the end of the leaf.

If there is no egg there already she will lay an egg and she did!

A nice composition of blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), Hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctiloba) and quartzite talus along the trail.

A view to the south of Neversink Mountain over the valley of the Schyylkill River after it has turned east as it flows to Delaware Bay.

end part 1

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