August: Brent Womack, Naturalist with DNR, spoke about mast types and availability for area wildlife. Afterwards, we enjoyed a hike through park meadows and forests to observe examples of the various resources discussed.
July: Giff Beaton, author of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast, presented a powerpoint program to a packed audience at the Reserve. He then led the group out to the pond area to see the lovely odonates in action. We were able to view up close and personal these creatures: Eastern Amberwing (our smallest dragonfly), Blue Dancer, Common Whitetail, Azure Bluet, Pond Dancer, Eastern Pondhawk, Swift Setwing, Prince Baskettail, Blue-ringed Dancer, Familiar Bluets, Widow Skimmer, Double-striped Bluet and the Citrine Forktail.
June: Jim Rogers from Nearly Native Nursery in Fayetteville, Georgia visited McIntosh Reserve with a selection of his venomous and non-venomous snakes which he introduced to those attending the June Walk and Talk. Several years ago Mr. Rogers began to learn about snakes to better educate himself and his customers who told him too frequently of the snakes they had killed. He now shares his knowledge with others.
Also: In June Carroll County Commission Chair, Robert Barr, met with FOMR members and guests to provide an update on the greenspace plan for Carroll County. Mr. Barr discussed a number of ways greenspace can be preserved, including the outright purchase of greenspace by the county, the transfer of development rights through the establishment of sending and receiving zones, participation by county citizens in farmland preservation programs through the sale of development rights or though short-term tax relief. Mr. Barr’s pursuit of greenspace preservation may well be the most important legacy of his chairmanship. He and Carroll County have received awards and recognition on both state and national levels for his work in this area.
May: Walk and Talk: Suzanne Ashley presented a program on the Bowen family prior to a short hike to the family cemetery located in the Reserve.
April: On the coldest Easter weekend in 12 years, the Reserve staff and volunteers helped to throw out 45,000 eggs and to guard them from would be early hunters. When the whistle blew at 2 pm, the eggs miraculously disappeared before our eyes in only 9 minutes! Amazing. Megan Warren was the main organizer of this event. Good job, Megan.
The Spring Wild Flower Walk and Talk was held April 14, with Wendall Hoomes again leading an enthusiastic cadre of wild flower hunters. A cold spell the previous weekend had taken the edge off some of the early bloomers and we were not able to find any of the treasured Pink Lady Slippers so welcomed last spring. However, the day was perfect – cool and slightly overcast – and we found most of our favorite friends as well as some not captured on film last year. The Atamasco lilies had weathered the cold and again supplied the final extravaganza for the day.
March: Doug Mabry presented a program on the “The First Congressional Hearing: Inquiry into the Death of Chief McIntosh”. This meeting was very well attended, with people coming from neighboring counties, to hear about the intrigue and cover-ups surrounding the death of the Chief at McIntosh Reserve in 1825. A comprehensive review of Mr. Mabry’s talk is available on the front page of the Thursday, March 8 Times-Herald (times-herald.com).
For the March Walk and Talk, Daryl Johnson prsented a program on the past McIntosh inhabitants at the Reserve. A short walk took participants to vist serveral old home-sites, marked by crumbling foundations and at this time of the year outcroppings of daffodils still flourishing from by-gone gardens.
February: Dr Tim Chowns, University of West Georgia, led a hike on the changing path of the Chattahoochee River over the eons and over the seasons. We looked at the marks encircling the trees along the banks for the evidense of hide tide. We looked at the pebbles along the paths for evidence of the waters’ force. Our hike took us along the river and above the flood plain to evidence of the River’s path in time’s past.
January: Terry Taylor, local consulting forester, led us on a hike to identify trees in winter. Beginning along the river, he pointed out those trees that can withstand the consistent floodng that comes to the lowland field. We visted the large, familiar Sycamore that hangs way out over the river, and observed the Georgia hackberries, river birches, ironwood, ash, and various kinds of oaks. Moving upstream in higher ground, we observed specimens of Florida maple, red maple, black tupelo, yellow poplar, American elm and stands of yellow-leaved beech. All along the way, Terry told us of the uses of many of the trees over the years. We learnd, for example, that in the 1800s, large dogwoods were considered very valuble for use as spindles in the cotton mills. People would bring their large trees to the to the square in Carrollton, to be picked up by buyers who basically cleaned the area of the large dogwoods. Pictures are posted from the event.