Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I braved a heavy ,chilly rain to get these wet cedar glade pictures, an extreme condition of the glade rarely seen.

1. Some naturalized daffodils in the barrens at Couchville glade.

2,3,4. These pointy land snails seem to come from these mossy "hammocks" in the gravely parts of the glade here in couchville glade, they eat the lichen and I'm not sure if they are found in any other glades ,in fact i have been completely unsuccessful in identifying them myself.

5. white form leavenworthia stylosa

6.Nothing brings out the subtle colors
in the glades like a soft rain, this normally dry
grey old stump is transformed into a colorful
playground in miniature.

7.8. my favorite thing about couchville glade is the rock garden at the western border of the glades, a beautiful and natural rock garden no one could recreate. In places the limestone flooring looks as though it was pulled apart like taffy!

9. Early saxifrage is positively glowing! in the rock garden at couchville.

10. an early rainy view through the redbuds

11. Rue Anemone

12.13. Smooth rockwort

14. Wild Chickasaw plumb flowering

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patricks dayin Daisy Trail Glade.

The Falcate Orangetip butterflies really are waking up in this warm sunshine ,
and apparently the color for this glade on St Patty's day is bright yellow-orange,This species coloration varies regionaly and these guy's spots are the same color as the little leavenworthia flowers ,and the underside of their wings is patterned and colored to match the thick lichen that grows around the glade, just look at these guys going crazy in a frenzied mating ritual, and who couldn't love the color provided by the Nashville mustard, Leavenworthia Stylosa, the smell is thick and sweet and its also what the butterflies are so happy about.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Couchville glade March 10 2009

1. wolf prints,deer prints,coyotes,fox.
2.reminds one of the Savannah in summer, without the heat,you feel eyes on you here hehe.
3.when a tree dies in the glade,it just slowly bleaches and crumbles with time, unlike in the forest where it quickly succumbs to rot.
3.Levenworthia stylosa this white/violet form had an eerie violet glow which doesn't pick up well on the camera, much variation on this in the small clumps some are pinkish and others stark white.
4.I've only ever seen these red small cacti that grow bear root over the poorly drained inch thick limestone in these glades,are they baby opuntias struggling for a good root hold? possibly opuntia fragilis form? i really don't know.
5.leavenworthis stylosa.
6.a creek runs across the exposed 400 million year old limestone in couchville glade.
7.lichens be likin the wet sunny winter
8.park trail headed dedicated to Tyler Alley Skies.
9.What amazes me about couchvinne glade is the cedar glades namesake resident,the red cedar, you can see the amazing diversity in form here in a single plot,and there are many of the oldest cedars i have ever seen in my life here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daisy trail glade is an unprotected cedar glade,although i believe it is on army corps of engineers land there are no official barriers or signs posted
several rare endemics thrive over this 30+ acre tract of limestone xeric cedar glade.People dumping trash here and four wheelers tearing through the limestone greatly disturb the ecosystem and damage the flora.
There are invasive shrub and trees
including a full grown Bradford pear,
On the plus side it has one of the largest populations of Prairie Larkspur i have seen yet, along with the presence of Tennessee Milkvetch
and some lovely lobelia,possibly gattingers or maybe even one of its own, pictured belov in this blog.
You can view the location of this glade here DAISY TRAIL CEDAR GLADE
This glade is also unique to others I have seen because
it's full of little sinkholes and during heavy rains the entire
lower part of the glade fills up to a depth of 5 inches as it
drains away into these sinkholes, the surrounding woodlands
fill as well some pictures of that here as well. Perhaps the
absence of the Tennessee cone flower has led to a disinterest
in this particular glade, so i have named it and cataloged its
beauty here for all to see, thanks so much for taking the time to look

1.Daisy Trail Glade ,solid bedrock creek connects the clearings after a heavy rain.
2.A waterfall into a sinkhole nearby daisy trail glade.
3.Adjacent woods to daisy trail glade after heavy rain,
4.Daisy Trail Lower Glade ,this one will fill up like a lake during heavy rains.
5.beautiful,but invasive,a feral bradford pear. daisy trail glade.
6.Daisy Trail Glade sports rare Cranefly Orchids in its margins.
7.a sinkhole in daisy trail glade.
8.a sinkhole daisy trail glade.
9.Daisy trail glade winter 09
10.Daisy trail glade winter 09

Saturday, March 7, 2009

oddities and endangerments

Mt View cedar glade is in great danger,as you can see by these photos development has been allowed to encroach to the very edge of the limestone,and the grassy and marginal parts of this glade have been destroyed. Some very unusual Opuntia Humifusa live here in this glade,
they display a most unusual double blooming habit .

Late Spring/Early Summer in the Cedar Glades

Sun Drenched Islands in the Dark Cedars

You may have encountered a cedar glade before if you enjoy walking through the woods in the Nashville Tennessee area, you would have been walking along through the cedars and would have come to a clearing, upon passing through you may have noticed how hot and dry it was,if in summer,or how wet and spongy the limestone gravel was ,if in winter.You may have had many of my own first thoughts , wondering "is this an old lot? perhaps and old road of some sort long degraded" before you started to notice plants you hadn't ever seen in your life,even though you've lived your entire life in the Nashville area, and if you had been lucky enough to happen across one during spring bloom time you'd notice the rainbow of colors blooming on those never before encountered plants, what an exiting place these glades can be!
In truth that place you thought may have been an old lot is a natural limestone clearing, Sometimes tens of thousands of years old , old enough for the plants there to adapt to their unique micro climate.
It's feasible to think that these places have been visited by animals and humans alike, for thousands upon thousands of years, being a natural clearing where one could camp or simply gaze up at the sky,and the way it seems so much bigger in the glades somehow, you can see the whole milky way sparkling there on a clear summer night, these places truly are a gift of natural beauty and diversity and a testament to the strength of life and its ability to adapt.

Sadly most of this rare ecosystem has been lost forever ,and some endemic plants are either extinct or severely endangered, in the past they have been built on ,dumped in,and covered over with rubble, they are inundated by man made lakes and torn apart by people with atv's and four wheelers who do not realize what they are doing.
There may be less than 10% of what cedar glade
there was before the Nashville basin was settled, and that continues to shrink even today, So lets educate our friends in the world of horticulture about our cedar glades.

Here are some resources for Cedar Glade Research:

Cedar Glade Endemic Plants

Center for Cedar Glade Studies

Cedar Glade Wikipedia