Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

End of the Line

Here is my entry for the “End of the Line” photography
contest,my first entry in this contest ever.
This is more of the end on a line, 
There are definitely strong lines and an end in there!
This was taken at the end of the season 
in a cedar glade here in the Nashville area,
it is the ultimate end of one of the many 
cabbage white butterflies that have flourished
in this glade of a different flower,
and here at the end of the line we see the grasses
and the wings of the butterfly returning to the earth
to nourish another generation of creatures next year,
thanks for reading and looking guys- JJ

I had several to choose from and after a day of consideration
of the others I chose the one more appropriate for the end
of the growth season, another I considered was this one

At some point long ago,
this exposed solid stones rivergroup limestone bedrock 
(shoo a mouthful)
cracked,and water spent many years flowing
into the crack as it settled atop the stone 
in a poolwearing the stone open ans smooth
on either side, As you can see, the crack 
has more recentlycontinued its course from
the ending point.

I also considered the end of the line for this
once brave and mighty Hickory of the glade,
This was taken in early winter last year.
The grave of Sir Hickory

I concluded to present the first as my entry,
Boy these photo contests could get fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Under the surface


Dancing stumps in a Skeleton of a cedar glade that is usually
under water for much of the year, you can see the "skeleton" of the cedar glade
because most of the lighter gravel and soil have been washed away.
The supporting stone structure is all that is left behind.
This glade would have been part of the Daisy Trail cedar glade systems.



In a shallow pool in the glade,connected 
to the cave systems that underlie this glade
a resident crawdad enjoys some afternoon sunlight.

There are a few flowers lingering along the way
Like these susans
Susan thinks it is springtime,apparently.

And there is a lobelia or two as well


The last leaves flutter away from a giant shumard oak
dancing in the sun adjacent to Daisy trail cedar glades.

Other than that the glade is mostly an array of dried 
seed heads from any number of plants and grasses ,
evidence of extreme lushness in the glades this year.


Let us take a glance back through the seasons 
of 2009 from a viewpoint of this area 
at Daisy Trail cedar glade.

Early spring, leavenworthia stylosa dominates the scene

A little later,and the glade sandwort has stolen the show

late spring flooding ,there were ducks swimming in the glade!

Lets hope next year is even better in the glades,
Many plants here are endangered and the hearty weather
has helped them multiply and spread .

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