Date: August 8-10, 2014
Leaders: Sue Brown and Ed Mayer
Another fabulous weekend at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center a.k.a. Purchase Knob. Twelve AMC members were joined on Friday night by Dr Andy Methven and two students from his mycology course at the Highland Biological Institute, with four more AMC members coming up just for Saturday. The dire weather forecast discouraged other day-trippers, but in the event we were very lucky with the weather; the rain stopped as we started our first foray on Friday afternoon, and resumed only in the evenings.
On Friday we forayed along the Ferguson cabin loop, a two mile trail that passes an historic log farmhouse and on Saturday we split into two parties and explored the Cataloochee Divide Trail that runs roughly north/south near the Center. At 5000 ft we expect to find some interesting species and PK delivered again. With help from Andy and his students we recorded 136 species – a record for this location. These included 17 that were new records for the club and 5 that are apparently new to the ATBI – the Great Smokies All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory – an ongoing effort to record all forms of life in the Park.
On Friday night, Andy gave us an informal talk and on Saturday we enjoyed a potluck dinner, well up to the club's high standards.