Thursday, April 16, 2009

On a lovely sunny spring day I decided to visit Couchville cedar glade,
The ground was spongy and the flowers were going nuts in the moist
spring weather, I'd like to share some photos with the world , heres
a list from top to bottom of the previous post-

1&2 . Rose Vervain In Situ, you have probably seen this one in the
garden somewhere but this is its natural habitat.

3. A very vibrant spring moss is flourishing near the creek.

4. Violet Wood Sorrel, also glade shamrock.

5. Stinky,my rat terrier,and mother of the percy preist lake monster, enjoys the smell of Nashville breadroot ,
apparently she can detect a scent i cannot, this plant has
an aromatic and edible "potato" from which it sprouts 6 inches underground
that was once eaten by native peoples.

6. White form leavenworthia stylosa , and a whopper too!

7.The glade shimmers in the sunlight with all of the recent rain,
and the creek which goes dry in summer is flowing full.

8.Glade Phacealia, something about the way they all stand up so straight ,
they seem enthusiastic.

9. soft woodland spurge, very unique, she has cousins all over the world,including
the euphorbs ,a common cacti like plant from africa.

10.Pale Blue Eyed Grass, I adore this plant, it is actually in the iris family.

11.Here comes the green, hushing over the starkness of winter.

12. Cedar Glade Phaecelia

13&14.Check out these Hoary Puccoons, aren't they cute? i have never seen these
in the wild before today.

15,16&17. Hypoxis Hirsuta, yellow eyed grass or yellow stargrass,
it is quite prolific here in couchville glade ,elsewhere it may be sparse
when present.

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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