Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

These pictures of moss from Mt View cedar glade,
moss dominates in its favorite season, winter,
which just started today, it loves winter because
sunlight can reach the forest floor around the 
gladesedges and along the gravel while
the plants and trees are sleeping
naked over the winter.

You can see where migrating birds have
eagerly picked this common glade moss
to bits looking for goodies underneath.


Some wild strawberries
waiting patiently for spring

a HUGE deerfoot lichen wakes
up breifly in the low solstice sun
Some moss on a log


another kind of moss nearby


and yet another,
youll see this one stuffed
in orchid pots at 
the market.


a most diminutive resurrection fern
growing in an assortment
of mosses and lichens


I have never seen one with such sparse 
growth and small leaves!
Could it be environmental?


one of the oldest cedars around is at 
the entrance to mt view cedar glade


as is this sign


These were all taken on Dec 21, 2009 
as the solstice sun was already 
beginning to set around 2 pm,
 it looks like later in the afternoon,
due to the southern sun of the northern winters.

Mt view glade is precariously sandwiched
between a development and a highway,
but manages to have one of the 
densest echinacea populations,
and a colony of coreopsis.

We'll come back here in the spring and take another look around,
Until then you guys, Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We need a Spring Preview!!

 For those of us whom live where winter is a cold season,
there is always a longing for spring blossom's sweet breeze,
despite all the work that there is to do in the garden!
 Let me indulge you for a moment on some things
you can see in a few months if you visit a cedar glade,
                                              Southern ragworts

Purple prairie clover

I even miss the fleabane,and I have purposely planted
it at home!

Festive prickly pear blossoms
look like wax sculpture.

Crows foot or glade phlox

Hello daisies, we have coined them!
Echinacea tennesseensis
Waving "hello, hello!" in the breeze.

a white form leavenworthia stylosa

Rose vervain

southern ragworts

American columbo,spring,they form a stalk
with green and white intricate flowers.

The dogtooth violet,

Redbuds, spring cedar,and sickly sweet
fields of yellow Nashville mustard.

Come and take a stroll in one this spring!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

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