The Tennessee Division of Natural Areas conducted the annual Spring Tour of the Short Mountain Ecotone on Saturday April 16th.
With the help of Neal Appelbaum (Arts Center of Cannon County), the Short Mountain Distillery, Short Mountain Bible Camp, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and numerous friends and colleagues, the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas conducted the annual tour. The event, held as part of the TDEC Natural Areas Spring Celebration, and including upwards of 40 participants, wound its way from Short Mountain Distillery to the summit of Short Mountain, across a variety of habitats and three distinct drainages, and right back to the distillery.
Over the five-hour tour attendees were exposed to a variety of natural history (and history) discussions including plants, crayfish, salamanders, landscape management, and the human dimensions of Short Mountain and Cannon County.
A robust hike treated the group to a large waterfall and beautiful scenery on the Caney Fork side of the mountain, and a refreshing stop at a welcoming home gave newfound friends a chance to enjoy lunch, shade and camaraderie. A slow but steady driving tour of North Short Mountain Road revealed a lush landscape full of spring ephemeral flowers for which that side of the mountain is renowned.
The TDEC Division of Natural Areas wishes to express its sincere thanks to all the persons and organizations that made this event possible, including the UCHRA, Cannon County Sherriff's Department, Short Mountain Distillery, Short Mountain Bible Camp, two most considerate private property owners, TWRA, and MTSU Department of Biology. We are grateful to the engaging participants who weathered a longer than anticipated tour, and hope that everyone enjoyed this brief introduction to this spectacular area. We hope to see you again in 2017!