by Mackenzie N. Morgan
The rangers at Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in the city of Stonecrest wrapped up the holiday season with a free community hike at Arabia Mountain on Saturday, Dec. 29. Attendees were greeted by rangers and a warm, welcoming fire – accompanied with conversation, hot chocolate and everyone’s favorite camping treat: s’mores.
After a leisurely chat at the nature center’s fireplace, guests followed rangers on a short, guided hike in the woods. During the hike, visitors were invited to use their senses to explore and discover the diverse species that make up Arabia Mountain, including the observation of a vernal pond which serves as home to salamander eggs due to the lack of predators present in these seasonal pools of water formed from heavy winter rains.
Guests also witnessed a flock of vultures congregate along the path in addition to the various plant and wildlife that make up the preserve’s unique ecosystem of streams, forest and the giant outcroppings of granite that form Arabia Mountain.
Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve ranger and program coordinator Evonne Blythers Lapsey said the nature preserve is a place for everyone whether they are regular visitors or visiting for the first time.
“Whether you come to Arabia to hike, relax, socialize or seeking solitude, there is more to the mountain. It doesn’t matter your skill, age or ability, there’s something here for everyone,” said Blythers Lapsey.
For a full list of interpretive programming including nature hikes, scavenger hunts and story times visit arabiaalliance.org.