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  1. #1

    Default Looking for a book

    I am looking for a book, preferably something small enough for day hikes. (ok, guess that means it doesn't need to be all that small) I want the book to help me identify plants common to the Appalachians, particularly in the south.


    Something similar in size/weight to one of these:
    https://smile.amazon.com/Peterson-Fi...3840742&sr=8-2

    https://smile.amazon.com/Wild-Flower...%2C234&sr=8-11

    TIA.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  2. #2

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    I use the Seek app. If you don’t have cell service at the time, you can take a picture and identify it later. Take multiple pictures.

    https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app

  3. #3
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    PennyPincher, I have a degree in forestry, so I'm pretty good with botany, especially trees, somewhat with flowers, not very with ferns or grasses. Even with my degree and forty years of experience, I'm still overwhelmed when I try to key out (look up and identify) something new or unfamiliar. It can be daunting, discouraging, almost impossible. If you really, really, really want to learn the basics, team up with a local botanical society. But if you want a book and nothing else will do but a book, there are many basic guides that can help, such as the Audubon and Golden Book guides. (I have dozens on my shelf, some may no longer be i print, and new and improved books may be available now that I don't know of).

    Wednesday, I did a hike on the obscure Hurricane Creek Trail in northwest Georgia and came across something I've never seen before. I had no idea what it was. I grew in large colonies in the bottomlands along the creek - standing about four feet high, cane- or rush-like. So I took a sample to a Natural Resource biologist, who identified it as a horsetail. They grow in colonies, spreading via rhizomes. I could've looked it up but it sure is helpful to have access to folks who know.

    P.S. I don't have a cell phone, so zero experience with Apps and thus unable to gauge their utility.

  4. #4

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    Dan, this video has a section on the use of horsetail plant. I came across the video just this past week on public television channel. It lists 4-5 useful books:

    https://www.pbs.org/video/wild-harve...plants-jztmc3/
    Last edited by zelph; 02-20-2021 at 19:29.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    I use the Seek app. If you don’t have cell service at the time, you can take a picture and identify it later. Take multiple pictures.

    https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app
    My daughter just told me about this the other day I plan on checking it out. Take the picture it will identify the plant and keep it on file.

  7. #7
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    the Smokys association sells a few "fit in the back pocket" books on various things (wildflowers, waterfalls, trees, birds etc) that might
    suit your needs....


    https://www.smokiesinformation.org/books?cat=46

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by zelph View Post
    A list of books for South Eastern states:

    https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/fe...uthbooks.shtml

    LOL
    That's a pretty extensive list of books. Thanks.

    I don't expect to be able to identify everything but I do really like to identify the most common plants along the trail. Heck, even if I don't identify them I like to look at them, especially the wild flowers.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    the Smokys association sells a few "fit in the back pocket" books on various things (wildflowers, waterfalls, trees, birds etc) that might
    suit your needs....


    https://www.smokiesinformation.org/books?cat=46
    Ah ha! Now we are talking!

    ANd someone mentioned an app. I might do that as well but I really like to explore without technology as much as possible. But I may have to add the app just so that when I see something beautiful I can't identify, I will be able to later.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  10. #10

    Default

    What a great idea! Books used for plant identification in the Appalachian Mountains come in a variety of types, most addressing trees, shrubs, and plants in specific areas of the range like the southern Appalachians, the Piedmont region, etc. due to the varied growing zones the mountain range covers from GA to ME. I am not sure if there is a book that contains plants for the entire range, most of what I have seen and used are regional. The USFS has a list of books their botanists use (https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/fe...uthbooks.shtml) to identify or teach others how to identify various trees and plants that might be helpful.

    Some books I purchased a few years back when I had similar ambitions quickly demonstrated themselves to be unsuitable and I gravitated toward the Patterson series and Audubon series for a lighter, easier to use reference. I would recommend looking at these to start out with.

    However, books can be heavy and the process of pulling the book out at each interesting specimen for identification. I have found a rather useful app called "Picture This". This app is uses a photo you take from a smartphone (taken through the app itself) and goes into the inter-web (bypassing pesky Russian hackers) and identifies the plant. Photos taken in areas that do not have cell service are saved until the app can connect. What I like most of this app is it covers North America, so it can be used in Oregon or Florida with equal success for a surprisingly low cost as compared to purchasing books.

  11. #11

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    I also use the app 'picture this' You take a pic of leaves, and it immediately id's it. If you don't have signal, you can save the pic and id it later. Works perfectly.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

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