iNaturalist DC outing: skunk cabbage blossom hunt & winter tree identification - Saturday February 25, 2017

Yikes, February is upon us and it's time to plan the outing we've tentatively scheduled for the end of the month. The plan is to look for blooming skunk cabbages and to practice our winter tree identification skills while we're at it. Rock Creek Park along Pinehurst Branch is a great place for this, and there's a Metro-accessible trailhead nearby.

I know this section of the park pretty well and can show you where the skunk cabbage patches are. I can also ID most trees during the green season, but this is my first venture into winter tree identification. So unless one of you is an expert, we'll just have to make it up as we go along. We'll be looking at things like bark, growth form, and buds on the twigs, and we'll hunt for leaves and fruit on the ground to match to trees in the vicinity. Of course, we'll take lots of pictures for iNat observations.

Let's meet on Saturday February 25, 2017 in Rock Creek Park at Picnic Grove #8 on Beach Drive, just south of Sherril Drive (see red balloon in map below). There are plenty of parking spots at the grove. Note that both Sherril Drive and Bingham Drive will be closed, and Beach drive will be closed between Picnic Grove #10 and Wise Road. So you MUST approach from Military Road in the south.

Picnic Grove #8 is also easily accessible via Metro and Metro Bus. The Takoma Metro Station (Red Line) is about a mile away, and there are multiple bus lines that stop within a block of the Whittier trailhead (orange balloon in the map below) which is just a 5 minute walk from the meeting point (see map). You can catch the 16th Street buses (S2/S4) at the Silver Spring transit center (going south) or in Columbia Heights (going north, walk 2 blocks west from the Metro Station to 16th Street). Exit the bus at the Whittier stop which is just a few steps from the trailhead. Or you can catch the 14th Street buses (52/54) at the Takoma Metro Station (Bus Bay C, going south) or in Columbia Heights (going north) and exit at 14th & Whittier, then walk down Whittier to 16th Street. The trailhead will be directly across the street.

Depending on weather and people's inclinations, we can do a short loop or a longer loop all the way to boundary bridge and back. See the map for suggested routes. I have also mapped the skunk cabbage patches that I know about.

Resources:

Tagging everybody who was on the thread for the January gathering and a few more people who have made iNat observations in the DMV area.

@carrieseltzer @muir @briangratwicke @calopteryx @grizzlypieper @maryeford @jbrown @laura_sebastianelli @dossification @nloewen @ehurme @katzyna @csavy @jfrancis @danbeaupre @anneanderson @blairrowan @alonsoabugattas @jhammock @dctr @elliotgreiner @tkirk304 @jackcamino @mattluizza @stsang @judygva @delontadavis @botanygirl @ecologyelise @hughmcguinness @krosenthal @elliotgreiner @treichard @smallthingsrule @vincent12 @dctr @timbir5 @lakekoshare @jgingold @lynnparsons @belyykit @anneanderson @megan44 @somadjinn @ellen15

Posted by treegrow treegrow, February 04, 2017 18:22

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Observer

treegrow

Date

February 19, 2017 02:57 PM EST

Description

Symplocarpus foetidus. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Observer

treegrow

Date

February 19, 2017 02:51 PM EST

Description

Symplocarpus foetidus. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Observer

treegrow

Date

February 19, 2017 02:46 PM EST

Description

Symplocarpus foetidus. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Observer

treegrow

Date

February 19, 2017 01:49 PM EST

Description

Symplocarpus foetidus. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Observer

treegrow

Date

February 19, 2017 03:39 PM EST

Description

Symplocarpus foetidus. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Observer

treegrow

Date

February 19, 2017 03:44 PM EST

Description

Symplocarpus foetidus. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Observer

treegrow

Date

February 19, 2017 03:47 PM EST

Description

Symplocarpus foetidus. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.

Comments

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Feb 25 works best for me. Thanks very much for organizing this.

Posted by judygva over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Both dates are good!

Posted by jhammock over 2 years ago (Flag)
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This sounds great! 25th works for me. Thanks for organizing :)

Posted by stsang over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I vote for 25th

Posted by jackcamino over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Just moved to Kenya so no DC iNaturalisting for me anytime soon!

Posted by seasav over 2 years ago (Flag)
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25th better for me too. Thanks!

Posted by maryeford over 2 years ago (Flag)
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25th and 18th both work for me. Looking forward to this!

@csavy, hope to see some bat observations from Kenya for AfriBats! :-)

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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@carrieseltzer if they just hold still for a photo!

Posted by seasav over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Interested!

Posted by muir over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Did you pick a time yet, Katja? Looking forward to this!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Oops, sorry. Time flies. Yes, it looks like the 25th is definitely better for those people who are interested. I'll change the title of the post to reflect this. Are most of you going to be driving or are you going to use public transportation? If most people are driving, we can meet where there is parking.

Posted by treegrow over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Driving. Tagging @judygva

Posted by muir over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I'll be driving.

Posted by judygva over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Driving. Can offer rides to other people in the Brookland vicinity or between there and Rock Creek.

Also, if anyone has ideas for March, it will be here before we know it so do chime in!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I am at Trinidad neighborhood near Gallaudet; can I ride with you @carrieseltzer or someone nearby could offer me a ride? I'll help with gas.

Posted by jackcamino over 2 years ago (Flag)
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@jackcamino could you metro to Brookland or Ft Totten? Then I could pick you up there and drive us over. Or perhaps @muir or @maryeford could offer a lift since they live south of you and might pass by your direction.

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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@carrieseltzer either station should work, probably Brookland-CUA metro is better; I could do what you consider best.

Posted by jackcamino over 2 years ago (Flag)
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@treegrow what time do you propose? I am trying to coordinate child care so that I can iNaturalist without Natalie on Saturday. Given that, morning would be best for me. The weather forecast also currently has rain starting in the afternoon, so if that remains then maybe we can stay dry.

@jackcamino do you still have my number? let's coordinate by text.

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Morning works for me. Is 10 am too late? We can meet at one of the picnic groves in the park (detailed car & metro access description to follow). I imagine we'll be out there 2-5 hours depending on people's preferences. Distances are short and there are plenty of connector trails that circle back to the parking lot, so people can customize their participation easily.

I was out there last weekend, and the skunk cabbages are out along with an assortment of invasive early spring wildflowers. Trees are still in their winter condition, but they'll probably start leafing out soon if this warm weather continues.

Posted by treegrow over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Wow! Thursday-Saturday are forecast to peak in the mid- to upper-70s! I can start earlier than 10, but if the group convenes later, that's fine -- Marshall and I will probably show up around 9 and wander.

Posted by muir over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I can do 9 am. Does that work for everybody?

Posted by treegrow over 2 years ago (Flag)
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9 is good, especially if latecomers can easily catch up :)

Posted by jhammock over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Not on topic, but what's the code to insert a map like that? Which is fantastic by the way.

Posted by muir over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I just made it in Google My Maps. You need to be logged into your Google account to use it. It lets you doodle on a Google map and then you can share the annotated map with your friends or the public. Super easy.

Posted by treegrow over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Awesome! I will plan to arrive at 9 (without Natalie, which makes me feel a little bad if Marshall will be there, but I'm being selfish and my mother-in-law is available). I need to leave by noon to pick her up. I'm excited to explore some Rock Creek trails that are new to me!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Sorry guys, this time I am afraid I am going to cancel; I have a visitor and plans had to change.

Posted by jackcamino over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I'm holding out hope but not expecting to make it - hope you all have fun!

Posted by ecologyelise over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I probably can't make it this time; like Jack, I have a visitor. Too bad because this sounds fantastic, especially since so much is blooming! Have fun. Can't wait to see your observations.

Posted by maryeford over 2 years ago (Flag)
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@treegrow - Thanks so much for leading us on this adventure. @muir, it was great to see you and Marshall again. @carrieseltzer and @jhammock , I really enjoyed meeting you.

Posted by judygva over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks everybody for coming out to RCP today despite the scary weather forecast. Should we start a project for all the observations from these outings? I assume there will be more, and there's also the one from Woodend Sanctuary a couple of years ago. It would be nice to be able to see all these observations in one place.

Posted by treegrow over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks for organizing, @treegrow! Everyone, be sure to check for ticks. I pulled one off my leg :-( Will post my images of the unwanted hitchhiker later.

I think it's a great idea to start a project for the IDs from our outings! Who has an idea for March? It's almost here...

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Great group picture!

Here are my day's observations: http://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/muir/2017/2/25

As usual Judy and Katja put my photos to shame -- amazing as always to see everybody and see your photos! re: March. Next weekend is my only free weekend, and the temp looks like it will be back in the 30s.

Posted by muir over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I have created a project for our field trips: Washington, DC iNat Field Trips. Please add your observations. I'll make you all admins when you join.

Posted by treegrow over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Here are my observations from the day: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?on=2017-02-25&place_id=any&subview=grid&user_id=carrieseltzer (plus a few observations from home—I excluded my garden plants from this list).

My iNat list firsts included sycamore, multiflora rose, smooth aider, and burning bush! Goes to show that even I take those common plants for granted.

@treegrow I just added my observations to the project. Thanks for making that! Our first gathering was in Maryland so if there's a DC place rule we don't be able to include the observations from Woodend. Should we make the area bigger?

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I didn't create any rules. I was able to add my Woodend observations without problems. Did any of yours get rejected?

Posted by treegrow over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Posted by carrieseltzer about 2 years ago (Flag)

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