Flattop, Peaks of Otter, Virginia

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dbhguru
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Flattop, Peaks of Otter, Virginia

Post by dbhguru » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:30 pm

ENTS,

The sister peak to Sharptop is Flattop. At 4,001 feet above sea level, Flattop is the higher of the two peaks of Otter and the less crowded. The trail up from either side has large boulders and old growth. From the south side, you can see Sharptop. It is a dominant sight. The following image of Sharptop seen through blooming red maples looks like a Japanese painting. I took many shots. This was one of my favorites.
03SharpTopThruRedMaple.jpg
In the next image, Monica is seen through the combination of rocks and trees, a scene that dominates the Peaks of Otter.
01FlatopTrailAndMonica.jpg
Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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Re: Flattop

Post by edfrank » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:16 pm

Bob,

These rocky tree gardens are always a favorite of mine. I am wondering what you thought about the age of the trees growing among the rocks? Are they old? I doubt the area was cut, so age should be limited by weather events, fire, and old senescence.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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dbhguru
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Re: Flattop

Post by dbhguru » Sat May 01, 2010 4:40 pm

Ed,

Most of the chestnut oaks growing among the rocks are from 150 to about 270 years old, based on ring counts I've gotten from trees that have fallen across the trails and have been cut to reveal surfaces conducive to counting. However, it isn't a tree here or there that falls in that age range. Hundred do. Yellow birches are probably comparably old. I counted 330 rings on a large northern red down on the Falling Waters Cascades while in Virginia.

I've long known about a couple dozen of these areas of old growth along the Parkway, but it is increasingly obvious that there are lots more. That's why I'm determined to do the book on the Parkway forests.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Flattop

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:56 pm

I really enjoy that section of Virginia. My wife and I have stayed at the Peaks of Otter Lodge three times. Lots of great day-hiking for me all around the area.

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dbhguru
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Re: Flattop, Peaks of Otter, Virginia

Post by dbhguru » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:45 am

James,

Yes, we're in sync. Sharptop and Flattop weave their magic. I much prefer the southern Virginia Blue Ridge to the northern Virginia Blue Ridge, which is being suffocated by Washington D.C. congestion. The southern arm is still laid back, provincial. I'm looking forward to getting back down there in November. Can you join us?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Flattop, Peaks of Otter, Virginia

Post by James Parton » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:48 am

Bob,

Hopefully. November is a bad time for me. By then I have exausted my pb time at work which makes it hard for me to get off. After jan 1st would have been easier.

James
James E Parton
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New Order of Druids

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