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August September October November December
The shorter days of the year occur in December, the shortest being the first day of winter, known as Winter Solstice. Things are truly cooling off and although frost is on the ground, the green of some plants can still be seen. A common evergreen, understory tree found in the forests of the park is American Holly and its sharp needles and red berries are identifying characteristics. Still hanging on to its wilted but briliant golden leaves, American Beech can be found in wet soils and larger trees are commonly but unfortunatley carved into by visitors. Popping through the forest floor, Crane fly Orchid is one of the few Winter emergent plants in the Southeast and can be recognized by its singular leaf with a purple underside. Blooming brliliant colors in Spring, Mountain Laurel, an evergreen shrub can be seen growing along creek corridors in dense thickets. Many plants on the mountain can also be seen in December including mosses, pines, cacti, and cedars. December's open forest canopies and understory make for a great tour of the park so be sure not to miss out.
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Cranefly Orchid American Holly Mountain Laurel American Beech