Monday, February 28, 2011

Still need parent chaperones for Coates Bluff Nature Trail treks on Wed, Th, during each class period

A draft of the check-off sheet to be carried by each student on the Coates Bluff nature walk:

Coates Bluff / riparian flora and fauna (riparian refers to the bank of a stream)

__Sycamore: tall tree; peeling bark and large leaves.
__ Cottonwood: one of the largest N Amer hardwood trees. Riverine (usually grows in river bottoms).
__ Water oak: fast-growing, tall bottomland oak that is very important to wildlife.
__ Willow: medicinal bark, extensive root system, used in wood products industry.
__ Hackberry: medium-sized tree important to the lumber industry and to wildlife. The bark is studded with warts.
__ Dogwood: though a small tree, its leaves (ink, dyes) and wood (mallets, tool handles) have long been useful in small industry.
__ Box elder (a type of maple): medium-sized tree of the bottom land.
__ Virginia creeper: a ground cover that inhibits erosion. Medicinal plant - but the berries are poisonous. Similar to poison ivy but has 5 leaflets instead of 3.
__ Muscadine vine: wine or jam is made from tart muscadine grapes. Anti-cancer properties in the grapes.
__ Poison ivy: a noxious weed of which it is said, "Leaves of three, let it be," "Longer middle stem, stay away from them," and "Hairy vine, no friend of mine." It can grow as a shrub or a vine.

Upland growth
__ Hickory: important source of wildlife food; wood is useful in numerous industries (from lumber to smoked meat).
__ Live oak: an evergreen known for its long life and spreading branches; important to wildlife for its acorns and known for strength of its wood.
__ Pine: commercially important for timber and wood pulp. They are fast-growing softwoods that live in the uplands.

__ Armadillos: burrowing mammals with a leathery shell that eat insects. Important to scientists.
__ Hawks or falcons: swift birds of prey.
__ Black snake: non-poisonous and hibernating in the winter. They eat rodents, eggs and other snakes.

__ Loamy (loam is soil composed of clay, silt and sand.) and sandy soil. Decomposing leaves.

__ Crows. Hawks. Mockingbirds. Sparrows.
__ Critters escaping though the leaves.

Non-woodsy materials
__ Litter.
__ Fencing, gravestones, etc.