Friday, September 11, 2009

The Cedar glade blues

Wonderful texture, the blue stones? weathered paint from an old can? i don't know, but they caught my eye.

Just take a minute, see if you can spot .............

Dozens of tiny camouflaged butterflies!Eastern Tailed Blue
butterflies, by the bushel, and now their powdery
blue gray color makes perfect sense, for they spend quite a bit of time
browsing around these natural stones of the same color, their preferred habitat.


Gail said...

How wonderful that you caught so many in your photo! They are wonderful creatures. Apparently butterflies get minerals from the dirt and stone they spend time on...Isn't that fascinating. gail

tina said...

Well hello JJ. I'm pleased to 'meet' another Tennessee blogger. I have been trying to wrap my mind around cedar glades ever since Gail described them last year. Living on the Highland Rim I don't think we have so many. They are a neat ecosystem.

Those butterflies are most well hidden. You took a really cool picture of them.

Have you registered you blog with Blotanical? It is a directory of garden blogs. A pretty good site. You take care and have a great weekend.

J.J. said...

I just actually came across blotanical yesterday and I registered with them then,
its a wonderful site, and i hope it can help me get this blog spread around, much like the cedar glades themselves, this blog seems to
be perpetually out of the way and seldom visited, lol.
Once I learned about the glades I felt I
should do my part to spread awareness, and since I am a professional photographer ( , my business website )
this seemed like the perfect thing to do as a fun hobby that also serves a purpose, I have already donated use of this blog and all images for educational use in schools and colleges to the center for cedar glade studies here in middle Tennessee, and I'd love for yall to have your friends come and take a look sometime- thanks so much for your support guys!

tina said...

JJ, the way to build a blog base and get visitors is to visit and leave comments on other blogs, and to build a good collection of worthy articles...then they will come:)

Tufa Girl said...

Fabulous photo of the butterflies in the rocks. What a great place you have to take photos.

J.J. said...

Tina you just have to go and visit a cedar glade this coming spring, i was raised in the highland rim and east Nashville which is the Cumberland river valley/river bottoms where you've seen the same plants your entire life and the glades are like going on a mini vacation to another state, probably why I was so enthralled almost immediately, so many things you never knew grew in Tennessee or at all anywhere for that matter.

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