Brunswick County has the highest plant species density of any county in North Carolina, and the town of Boiling Spring Lakes is one of the most notable spots in the county. A 6000+ acre nature preserve was established in 2004 to protect hundreds of species, some of which are rare or endangered, that live in that small, varied parcel of the Carolina coastal plain. It was designated a nationally significant ecological site in 1995 by the NC Natural Heritage Program.
The Nature Conservancy manages the property and the nature trail, which fortunately for us, makes some of the property accessible to the public. The trail begins at the Community Center on Leeds Road, running along the edge of a disc golf course before entering the woods and bogs of the preserve.
March is a little early for blooms but there were still some interesting ones when I visited last week. I’ve numbered my photos to match the gallery slider above, or you can click the number links below and see a large view of each one.
(12) Waterproof boots are a good idea. Sometimes you can just walk around the wet and sometimes you can’t.
(19) Dwarf sundew (Drosera brevifolia)
(20) Butterwort (Pinguicula sp.) ?
(21) Very big puddle
(25) Dry sand and turkey oaks at the back edge of the disc golf course
(26) Longleaf pine juvenile (Pinus palustris)
(27) Looking up through the turkey oaks to the longleaf pines
(28) Yellow wood-sorrel (Oxalis sp.)
(29) Turkey oak leaves (Quercus laevis)
(30) Moss and lichens
(31) Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides)
(32) Pine needle-y forest floor
(33) A weather-bleached longleaf pine cone
(34) Sandy path at the outer edge of the pine savanna