The First Annual Marty Hike Was a Success!

We would like to say Thank you to everyone who came out to the First Annual Marty Hike to honor Ruffner's most beloved naturalist, Marty Schulman. We had a blast hiking, taking in the best view in Birmingham, and of course, listening to Marty share a story or two...or ten. Special thanks to The Alabama Wildflower Society (Ida Gleaton, Charles Gleaton, Alicia Hall, Ken Hall, Bob Yuill, Susan Hammack, Barbara Mullins, Adam Johnson, and especially Linda Schulman), Mountain High Outfitters, Trader Joe's, Fresh Market, Sprouts, and International Wine for making this event a reality, and a magical one at that. See you next year for Marty Hike numero dos!

Ruffner Mountain Crusher Ridge (5k, 21k, 42k)

Come out to Ruffner this Saturday for the second annual Crusher Ridge Run presented by the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society!

We'll have the grill going at the finish, with burgers, chips, cookies, and beverages. Vegetarian/vegan options will be available, and one of the local breweries will be providing beer for the festivities. Families are welcome to eat as well!

All proceeds from the 21k and 42k race entry fees will go to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve to help them continue the great work they do. All proceeds from the 5k race entry fees will go to the Exceptional Foundation as a thank you for making the race medals for the last 2 years.

More info here:…/ruffner-mountain-crusher-ridge-5k-21k…/

*The mountain will be open to the public, as well.

White Wingstem (Verbesina Virginica)

Here is one of our white wingstems from our Habitat Demo Garden at the Nature Center. White wingstem goes by an array of names: Frostweed, White Crownbeard, Indian Tobacco, and Iceplant. The name "Frostweed" was applied because of the white "wings" of frost that appear on the stem during the first winter frost. This lithe member of the Composite or Sunflower family can be found along the Eastern seaboard, from Florida all the way up to Quebec. Another distinctive feature of this species are the green "wings" of leafy material along its stem, hence the name, "wingstem." 

Thanks to Sierra Club of Birmingham and Turkey Creek!

Here are some pics from yesterday's workday at our Roebuck Springs property. The Sierra Club of Birmingham were a huge help in removing invasives and cleaning up around the pool house. Also, we are super grateful to Charles Yeager of Turkey Creek Nature Preserve for coming out on his off day and working so hard. It was very hot (and almost October!) but everyone was happy to help make a difference.

Our Roebuck Springs property is looking better every day, thanks in no small part to our wonderful friends. Thanks to the Sierra Club of Birmingham and Turkey Creek!

The Harvest Moon

Every year approximately 12 complete Moon cycles occur, each corresponding to a synodic month, which is about 29.5 days long. The Harvest Moon (viewable tonight) is the full moon occurring closest to the autumnal equinox, which happens to be this Sunday, the 18th. The Harvest Moon is so called because of the extra evening light it provides for harvest crews working late in the fields. This year, the appearance of the Harvest Moon is even more special due to a coinciding Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. Though not quite the spectacle that other types of lunar eclipse afford, the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse is nonetheless a fascinating phenomena caused by the moon's passing through the outer fringe of Earth's shadow, causing a noticeable "smudge" effect on the moon. Fall is finally here! You can watch the full eclipse tonight live (and outside, of course):