Hike with the Blanche Dean Chapter of the Alabama Wildflower Society and Michelle Reynolds to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve’s limestone quarry to see the blooming false aloes (Manfreda virginica). The glade-like quarry floor is home to redbuds, eastern red cedar, rusty blackhaw, and gnarled hackberry trees. Grasses dominate the landscape where Lindheimer’s beeblossom, wild bergamot, wild petunia, and butterflyweed, whorled leaf, and green milkweeds bloom throughout the summer.
We’ll meet in the parking lot of the nature center at 9 a.m. to begin the 1.5-mile hike to the quarry floor. For those who want a shorter hike, park at the Irondale Ball Fields on Ruffner Road and access the trail directly across the street to proceed to the quarry. Wear sturdy shoes for rough terrain and bring plenty of water and snacks.