Grindstone Nature Area: Grindstone Creek Glade
Grindstone Nature Area is a city park in Columbia I like to frequent. In fact, it was one of the first places I visited in Columbia when my wife and I moved here in 2010. I was immediately excited about the clear, rocky creek quickly accessed from the parking lot. In southern Georgia all we had were black-water creeks, cypress swamps, and bogs (damn, I miss Georgia). I knew of the clear mountain streams of northern Georgia and the Appalachians, but I seldom frequented the area due to my aversion to a little placed called Atlanta.
|Grindstone Creek - just past the parkinglot of the Old Hwy 63 South entrance|
Anyways, I soon found myself visiting Grindstone every chance I could. It wasn't too long before I found an interesting area on top of a knob overlooking Grindstone Creek (the same portion accessed from the parking lot). This spot was a little more open, rocky and there were a couple of interesting plants that stuck out amongst the copious amounts of bush honeysuckle. For one, prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) and clusters of what I've now identified as Lance-leaved Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), which by the way is a new Boone County record.
|Clusters of the basal leaves of Lance-leaved Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) are quite abundant on this small glade|
|Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa)|
|Vew at the top of the small glade, all of the bare branches seen in the photo is bush honeysuckle in the winter. If these were leaved out, just imagine looking at a solid wall of green.|
|Stumps of a cut bush honeysuckle, poisoned with herbicide|
|All of the honeysuckle was transported off of the glade and mulched|
|View of the glade a few weeks after removing the bush honeysuckle; the large green clumps you see are coreopsis leaves|
Results were seen immediately! The spring and summer following the "honeysuckle slaughter", as I like to call it, was full of blooming native wildflowers. Tons of coreopsis bloomed, rose verbena, ironweed, and bee-balm just to name a few. In addition, the sickly looking prickly pare quickly perked up and a very unique glade-specific plant popped up in a spot that was previously covered by some huge bush honeysuckle; Limestone Adder's Tongue (Ophioglossum englemannii)! A native, blue Salvia (Salvia azurea) also popped up on this glade; this was also a new Boone County record.
|Lance-leaved Coreopsis in bloom|
|A unique little fern that grows only on glades - Limestone Adder's Tongue|
|Glandularia canadensis - Rose Verbena smells amazing!|
|Typically found in southwest Missouri, Salvia azurea is a new Boone Co. record|
However, the battle continues. Bush Honeysuckle has been re-sprouting at the site (despite poisoning) and the seeds of this plant persist for quite a while. If you find yourself at Grindstone Nature Area, take some time to visit this little glade, enjoy the flowers, and pull up some bush honeysuckle while your at it!