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Holly Shelter Game Land

Sponsored by the Southeast Coast chapter

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A walk (and drive) through the Longleaf Pine Savanna and pocosin habitat of Holly Shelter with Andy Wood of Audubon NC

Andy Wood explains the various growth stages of the longleaf pine, Pinus palustris

Nesting cavity of Holly Shelter resident, the RCW

Longleaf pines provide critical habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker, Picoides borealis

Prescribed burns are used to maintain the open pine savanna that they prefer, replicating the wild fires that once sustained this natural habitat.

The male RCW excavates the nest cavity in live mature longleafs with red heart fungal disease. He protects his investment from arboreal snakes by stripping bark away near the nest as well as drilling small holes to allow the sticky pine sap to flow away from the nest.

Longleaf Pine Savanna

Lara capturing a photograph of the pinebarren gentian

Note the blooming wiregrass, Aristida stricta in the foreground. A fire-dependent plant of this ecosystem, wiregrass must undergo a burn in order to set seed.

Gentiana autumnalis

pinebarren gentian

Carphephorus odoratissimus

deer's-tongue; vanillaleaf

the dried leaves smell like tobacco!

Sarracenia purpurea

Purple Pitcher Plant

what lives inside the purple pitcher plant?

why the purple pitcher-plant mosquito of course!

The larvae of the Wyeomia smithii mosquito is an inhabitant of this pitcher plant and feeds on the partially digested carcasses “provided” by the pitcher plant.

Carphephorus sp.

C. tomentosus?

Looking for carcasses in the trumpet pitcher plant

Club Moss

Lycopodiaceae, perhaps Lycopodiella sp. or Pseudolycopodiella sp. see Clubmosses

Pinguicula sp.

butterwort w/ slender clubmoss in the background

Lachnanthes caroliniana

basal leaves of redroot

Aletris farinosa

White colicroot and basal leaves

Polygala cymosa

tall milkwort

Agalinis sp

Scaleleaf false foxglove? Agalinis aphylla

Agalinis sp are hemiparasites on the roots of grasses and other plants

yet another Carphephorus sp?

Symphyotrichum walteri

Walter's aster

formerly Aster squarrosus

Ilex myrtifolia

myrtle-leaved holly

Ilex glabra


Symphyotrichum concolor

eastern silvery aster; previously Aster concolor

Viola sp.

V. primulifolia see Viola

blooming in November?

Amanita muscaria

brilliant red seed pods

A special thank you goes to Andy Wood for finding the blue gentians in a sea of wiregrass and sharing with us the natural beauty that is Holly Shelter.

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