Annual Winter Solstice Field Trip and Hooley

posted Nov 26, 2012, 12:16 PM by Marty Nielsen
December 16, 2012 at Chapman Forest, Charles County, MD

10:00am - 3:00pm

Field trip co-sponsored by the Maryland Native Plant Society, Potowmack
Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Botanical Society of
Washington, Mattawoman Watershed Society, and Chapman Forest Foundation

Leaders: Rod Simmons, Jim Long, Alan Ford, Chris Puttock, Richard Murray,
and Scott Knudsen

Celebrate the winter season in Chapman Forest with its spectacular scenery
and remarkable diversity of native trees. This year, we will focus on the
old-age forest section from Mt. Aventine westward across the sandy, rolling
hills and ravines between the mansion and the convergence of the Aventine
and Glymont streams. In rounding out the MNPS "
<> Year of the Oak", we'll
see most of the upland oak species, as well as numerous champion-sized
Pagoda Oak (Quercus pagoda), including a new state co-champion; state
champion and co-champion Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii); Deam Oak
(Quercus x deamii) - the natural hybrid between White Oak and Chinquapin
Oak; Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii); Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra);
Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii); Pin Oak (Quercus palustris); and
Willow Oak (Quercus phellos).

A line MNPS member and Mattawoman Watershed Society president Jim Long often
uses when leading nature walks at the site is to ask: "which has more oak
species, Chapman Forest (2,200 acres) or Great Smoky Mountain National Park
(half a million acres). As far as I can tell, Chapman Forest wins."

We'll also see old-age Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera); White Ash
(Fraxinus americana); American Beech (Fagus grandifolia); Pignut Hickory
(Carya glabra); Sweet Pignut Hickory (Carya ovalis); Sassafras (Sassafras
albidum); Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua); Sycamore (Platanus
occidentalis); and other trees, such as Dwarf Hackberry (Celtis tenuifolia);
American Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana); Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra); and
many others.

This section of the park is a fascinating and regionally unique meeting
ground for plants with a primary range in the inner piedmont and mountains
and those of the coastal plain. We should also see a variety of birds such
as red-headed woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, hermit thrush, wood
duck, and bald eagle.

Field trip is free and open to non-members. Registration is not required.

Bring: Wear sturdy shoes and bring lunch or snacks and water. Most of the
walk traverses rolling, fairly open forest along trails, though some steep
grades will occasionally be encountered.

Directions: Take Indian Head Highway (Rt. 210) south from Capital Beltway
(495). Proceed south on Rt. 210 for app. 15 miles. Continue on Rt. 210
past the Rt. 227 intersection at Bryans Road (McDonald's, Burger King, and
shopping center on right and a builders supply will be on left) and start
looking for Chapman Landing Road on right. Take half right on Chapman
Landing Road and proceed a couple of miles to entrance to Mount Aventine
(Chapman State Park) on right. Park and meet in parking lot at entrance
gate (additional parking is available along the shoulder of Chapman Landing
Road, though please be mindful of the neighboring residents and careful not
to damage the road edges when parking).

*Field trip cancelled for heavy-steady snow, sleet, or pouring rain, but not
for snow flurries or drizzling rain.

Contact: <