Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I think , after having visited other cedar glades, that I still
prefer the first one I found, out of the way, no public access,
nameless until I named it not only for the street I live on,which
dead ends into the western border of it, but a strange daisys unique
to cedar glade margins in this area if not to this glade alone.
Daisy Trail Glade is home to many unique and endangered plant
species, here are some pics from Daisy Trail Cedar Glade taken
on a breezy spring day.

1. Namesake daisy, she is very tender, not your roadside daisy,
a pale blush pink,and a much different branching habit, with a
single flower at the end of each segment of stem. name unknown.

2.Glade Sandwort, single specimen showing the leaflessness
and bridal spray form,these sprout from a tine cold weather
rosette that dies away.

3.4. the glade sandwort smells every bit as sweet as the
Nashville mustard, leavenworthia stylosa,and makes just
as extravagant a show as it carpets the glade in white.

5.6. small skullcap, it is blooming profusely throughout.

7.8. SUPRISE!! Daisy trail cedar glade does indeed support them!
picture proof!, and they are being run down each year by atv's! Shooting stars, Dodecathion, what beautiful color and pattern,
i found one which turns some if its flowers upright and splays the petals out
flat, unusual.

13.14. Pale blue eyed grass is peeping out at you all over.

15.16. up close and personal with tennessee milkvetch,
astragalus tennesseensis.

17.18. up close and personal with eastern white flower
beardtongue, penstemon.

19. even common buttercups are more beautiful here with
all these showy friends!

20. Yellow star grass Daisy trail form, note the differences
between these and the ones at couchville glade,these are
much more slender and less furry.

21.22. Violet woodsorrel, tennessee shamrocks.

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