Posted by Chris M Sunday, September 30, 2007

Grassy Cove 2

Late last year I went to Grassy Cove a large valley (more info on that page). I went back and started at the southern end of the trail. However, first I stopped at the head of the Sequatchie Valley. The valley was originally an anticline. The top layer of rock was sandstone (and around the valley still is), but was eroded away at the anticline and limestone was exposed, that erodes very quickly and differently. I created this cartoon below to illustrative it.
Sequatchie Valley

Grassy cove's drainage is connected to the valley underground and the Sequatchie River starts at several springs at the head of the valley. Unfortunately, the spring are on private land and I was unable to see them, however, that may change. These first couple of pictures are of the Sequatchie Valley far up near the head.
Sequatchie Valley Sequatchie Valley

The first 1.5 miles of the trail was on private land and as I reached the top of the mountain I ran into several logging roads and machinery.
Logging Road Logging Machines Logging Machine Logging Machine Logging Machine

The forest was pretty young (20-40 years) but was mostly nut producing oaks (Red, White, Chestnut, Chinkapin) and hickories (Pignut, Shellbark, Shagbark). I sampled a few hickory nuts, although most were the slightly bitter Pignut. While I was eating one, a group of 3 Gray Squirrels surround on me on trees about 15 ft way and made the loudest chattering and the most extreme tail-flicking I have ever seen from squirrels.

The trail also had numerous wildflowers, including several asters and a species of goldenrod. I did find one American Chestnut sprout, but was to short to have any nuts.
Aster Aster Goldenrod American Chestnut