Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

August 1, 2012 at 4:15 am (Atlanta, Dragonflies and Bugs, Georgia, Nature, Photography) (, , , , , , , )

Cairns mark the trail on the exposed granite

It isn’t much of a mountain, but it is unique.  Arabia Mountain is an outcrop of granite or granite-like rock a few miles southeast of Atlanta – a smaller version of Stone Mountain.  This monadnock (an isolated hill rising conspicuously from the surrounding land) had been quarried at one time, but is now preserved as a park with a bicycle trail leading to sister-monadnock Panola Mountain State Park.

Some of the trail goes through forest

I parked at the nature center and walked a half mile to the cairn-marked trail to the mountain’s peak.  There are no grand views as there are from Stone Mountain or Kennesaw Mountain.  But its spartan landscape is beautiful in a minimalist way.

Vernal potholes shelter tadpoles, water bugs, and salamanders

If you read my last post, you’ll know I was mesmerized by the variety of dragonflies here and at Panola Mountain.  I found another dragonfly while sorting through the photographs  – making the total “take” to be about 8 species that day.  Woo hoo!  I have a new hobby!

Blue Dasher, male – looks similar to the common Eastern Pondhawk, but he has amber on his wings, and black tail appendages (the little thingamabobs at the tip of the tail) whereas the Pondhawk has white appendages. So there.

The most common bird was a “kettle” of turkey vultures, with about 3 black vultures circling around for dead or dying critters.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture feather on the granite

The most notable plant, the Diamorpha smallii stonecrop, had already gone to seed.  The small blue dayflower was the most visible bloom this time of year, and I did find a couple of intriguing milkworts.

Dayflower

Milkwort

Planthopper on fig leaf

I am a slow hiker, because I always look at little things – leaves, bugs, flowers, sticks, stones, whatever.  The little planthopper above was quite tiny, and I saw it when I picked one of the ripe figs on the tree alongside the road.  That’s why I love hiking alone – I can meander to my heart’s content.

Visitors need to know that walking in potholes disturbs the fragile ecosystem that depends on the rains for survival

Photos:  Canon SX-40

website:  www.CindyMcIntyre.com

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4 Comments

  1. Bob Zeller said,

    Great post and pictures, Cindy.

  2. Teacherkat5775 said,

    Sort of reminds me of Enchanted Rock outside of Fredricksburg, TX. Love the blue dayflower. It’s pistils, or stamens, look like a heart. Awwww….

  3. 9tgsinglangnessfres1972 said,

    Reblogged this on John Hamilton Weblog.

  4. Cindy McIntyre said,

    Thank you John for reblogging this! It’s the first time anyone has reblogged a post of mine.

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