Thursday, April 1, 2010

Diversion~Spring ephemeral~ Karstlands



I've decided to provide a little diversion here at cedar glades of the Nashville basin and do an entry covering spring ephemerals in the karst lands at bakers grove
which is very near the couchville, mt view, and daisy trail cedar glades.
Karstland at bakers grove trail


An ephemeral plant is one marked by short life cycles, usually six to eight weeks. The word ephemeral means transitory or quickly fading. In regards to plants, it refers to several distinct growth strategies.
Early saxifrage and spring ferns enjoy the sun on the bluffs
click to enlarge

Spring ephemeral describes a life habit of perennial woodland wildflowers which develop aerial parts (i.e. stems, leaves, and flowers) of the plant early each spring and then quickly bloom, go to seed and then quickly die back to its underground parts (i.e. roots, rhizomes, and bulbs) for the remainder of the year. This strategy is very common in herbaceous communities of deciduous forests as it allows small herbaceous plants to take advantage of the high amount of sunlight reaching the forest floor prior to the leaf-out of woody plants.
 Yellow Corydialis , a spring ephemeral
related to Dutchman's breeches and bleeding hearts .

Tennessee has is one of the richest and most diverse environments for spring ephemerals
on the entire planet, lets take a look at some of the things i saw
today on this 4 mile medium difficulty hike at bakers grove trail,
i strongly recommend taking the walk soon if you are in the area,
especially if you are fond of trout lilies and dogtooth violets
yellow trout lily
they are thick on the north slope of the big hill 
this trail winds around
 And when i say thick i mean THICK

they cover the forest floor.


 There are also white ones,dogtooth violets,
 just as thick and lush as the yellow
  On the south side it is drier and leafier, and there is less moss.
things like trillium and may apples are at home here


Trillium
 mayapples stretch into life already full sized
rue anemone
 a large colony of cranefly orchids,
i have yet to catch these in bloom.


cutleaf toothworts grow through out the trail.

The gem of bakers grove trail is definitely the bluffs, a sturdy but rocky
in places foot trail winds along these 100 foot bluffs over
Percy priest lake, and face the sunset, a lovely and romantic 
view for an afternoon hike or a picnic. 
sailboats viewed from the bluffs, nice and breezy here.
 sweet fragrant Chickasaw plum flowering along with cedars on the bluffs.
soft spring fern foliage blankets the pathway as 
you stroll through the boulders
an underground stream emerges from a pile of boulders full
of mossy grottoes
Here we have Mr Hugh "bullfrog" Hefner lounging
in his mossy grotto waiting for some lunch to happen along
please enlarge this pic to spot him near center.
this is a porthole to an underground stream,
and you can hear the water trickling softly
through the mossy earth.
the same stream emerges completely and flows
into the lake, there is a large footbridge over it, 
the only large footbridge on the trail, so you can follow 
that stream only a few hundred feet uphill 
to see these things for yourself!

If you like old graveyards or vinca minor, then
you are in luck at bakers grove trail!
there is an area several acres across that used to be a graveyard
where the vinca minor has run amuck, as it does, being
a terrible invasive, although still quite beautiful.
this amazing and horrifying area is quite near the entrance,
but its nothing compared to the amount of privet 
that crowds the first 100 yards or so. 

I hope you've enjoyed our Nashville basin karst
woodlands spring display, get out there and see it for yourself
if you can! spring is here! spring is here! at last at last!!

7 comments:

劉于名 said...

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明偉誠秋 said...

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JesseniaT_Orndorff1021 said...

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明宏 said...

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修強 said...

Nice post ~ 3Q..............................................................

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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