On Sunday, September 22nd, hikers conquered three mountains and saw dozens of blooming yellow daisies. The second annual Daisy Days Triple Hike began at Stone Mountain (the largest of the three monadnocks) then went to Arabia (the oldest) and finished at Panola Mountain (the most pristine). Hikers ended the day with some well-earned s’mores and a campfire at the base of Panola. “It’s a challenge, it’s fun, you get to meet people…you get to see some of the hidden gems that most people don’t get to see,” said Cal Ludwick, a hiker who has completed both years of the Daisy Days event and who also has completed all but one of Daisy Days’ spring triple hike counterpart, Mondanock Madness. “I highly recommend everyone coming and doing it, learning about all the little nature, the preserves and everything,” Ludwick added. The total triple hike distance is approximately eight miles.
Yellow daisies (Helianthus porteri) bloom on Georgia’s granite outcrops each fall, a sign that cooler weather is on the horizon. The daisies grow in patches of thin soil called “solution pits,” formed by plants, lichen and water slowly eroding the stone over time. These solution pits are home to a variety of rare plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions of the bare rock face. Other plants, such as diamorpha (Diamorpha smallii), grow in the winter in order to escape the scorching summer heat. Make sure to join us for Monadnock Madness in the spring to see diamorpha in all its glory!
See more photos here.