2011 Mount Rogers Naturalist Rally
Blue Ridge Discovery Center guides offered four programs at this year's rally:
Mushrooms: Seaking the Morel High Ground
Rebecca Rader, President of the New River Valley Mushroom Club and BRDC guide, offered an 8am program. The program explored late-season high-elevation fungi, foraging, and gave participants an idea of what fungi would be coming with the arrival of summer.
"These pictures are from the Morel Mushroom walk I did in the morning.
We had 14 people, including myself, and we found 6 morels (all of the
We went about a third of a mile up the Straight Branch Trail and we saw some beautiful wildflowers, too, including the jack-in-the-pulpit pictured and some showy orchis. Though late in the Morel-hunting season, I think our walk helped participants learn to spot morels and find likely habitats for them. We didn't have time to fry our finds up at the Rally, but Carrie [Sparks] got to take them home and enjoy them for breakfast on Sunday!" -Becky Rader
Birding in the Highlands.
Blue Ridge Discovery Center's Allen Boynton and Scott Jackson-Ricketts will include stops on Laurel Valley Road and Grindstone Campground. Expect to see a good selection, including flycatchers, grosbeak, vireos, and several warblers.
BRDC guides, Allen Boynton and Gale Kuebler, led this walk looking for butterflies and showing participants how to recognize various characteristic traits to make identification easier.
Highland Treasures: Discovering Diversity
"How many different kinds of plants, animals, fungi, and rocks can you find?" Participants joined Blue Ridge Discovery Center for a survey of diversity. BRDC's Scott Jackson-Ricketts, Devin Floyd, and Becky Rader led an expedition to find as many lifeforms as possible, document them, and compile the information so it can be shared with others! Participants used measuring tools, illustration, photography, and writing to document discoveries.
Ages 7-12 (ages 4-7 welcome w/parent)
Devin Floyd speaking to the crowd after a delicious chicken dinner on Friday night.