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April 2012 - Sunset Stroll at Pilot Mountain

Sixteen members of the Friends of Sauratown Mountains gathered at Pilot Mountain State Park for a picnic, followed by a short business meeting of the members, and a talk by Park Superintendent Matt Windsor on the geological differences between the Blue Ridge and the Sauiratown Mountains.  We then walked around Big Pinnacle, with narration on the history of the area, wildlife, plants, and more by Matt.
Members enjoy a sunny, slightly cool picnic.
Jay Young, President, reviews board actions and FSM activities since the Annual Meeting.
Dave Cook, Park Superintendent at Hanging Rock joined the group.
Matt Windsor points out peaks on the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It was a perfectly clear evening with low humidity - great conditions for long distance viewing.
Bear oak, Quercus ilicifolia, in flower on the Jomeokee Trail around Big Pinnacle.
Moore's Wall and Hanging Rock in the distance.
Luna moth clinging to a crevice in Big Pinnacle.
Matt Windsor discusses plant/tree/shrub differences on the north and south slopes of the mountain.
Matt also discussed the fire history of Pilot Mountain.  He pointed out evidence of past fires in this chestnut oak tree stump (the half-circle "smiley" in the center of the stump), explaining that you can determine the age of the tree at the time of the fire and even the likely direction from which the fire came.
As the sun set behind the Blue Ridge mountains to the west, a happy, better informed group said goodbye and headed for home.