Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day - Last Day of the Season for Old Rag Mountain Stewards

Yesterday was the last day of the spring/summer season for Old Rag Mountain Stewards (ORMS).  We take the last half of the summer off and start up again in the fall, when the mountain is really busy.  It was nice and cool when we left Silver Spring, but by the time we started up the Fire Road, it was well into the 80s.  I stopped at the Hughes River and dunked my head.  I also stopped a few times along the way to take pictures of flowers.

At the summit, we found a shady spot to wait for the group of stewards coming up the Ridge Trail.  We talked to a few people and gave out chlorine tablets to one group who was out of water.  We also met a man who volunteers with a program similar to ORMS on the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls Park.  Now that is a crowded trail because it is right outside the Beltway in Maryland.  After a while, we headed down to Byrd's Nest Shelter for a first aid scenario. 

On the way home, we were able to see fireworks from a few of the DC suburbs.  I'm looking forward to both hiking in other places and being back on Old Rag in the fall.

Pictures (click to enlarge):
Swallowtail butterflies drinking the moisture from a wet spot on the fire road.

Goodyera pubescens (Downy Rattlesnake Plantain).

Ipomoea pandurata (Wild Potato Vine).  A member of the Morning Glory Family.

Desmodum nudiflorum (Naked Tick Trefoil).  This was a bit challenging to photograph since the flowers are small and the spike was swaying in the breeze.  These are blooming all along the Fire Road right now.

Another view of D. nudiflorum.

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