Progress on Blue Ridge Parkway Book

Project documenting the old growth and special forests along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shennandoah National Park in Virginia and North Carolina.

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Progress on Blue Ridge Parkway Book

Post by dbhguru » Mon May 02, 2011 7:39 am


Monica and I have returned from our VA adventure where we met with friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, all of whom were very supportive of the book concept. So, it is a go. There are many details on which to inform ENTS members and I shall not launch into them here. I'd just like to share some images with you all that speak to the Parkway, the general region, and what motivates me to return year after year. The may apples and trilliums were gorgeous. They form part of that early spring flower festival. The first image is from Apple Orchard Mountain. There is an area near the parking lot that is loaded with the vivid green of may apples and the ever beautiful trillium.
Want more, you say. Okay. Here is what we saw in only one spot.
Changing focus, the clouds rolled over Sharp top as we reached the summit. But the gods decreed that from each summit, a little window of light must appear. We were grateful.
Who says that old growth must always be manifested in the tall and majestic. Let's make room for some striped maple.
Oh yes, and how about gnarly yellow birches? So much of the Parkway's old growth story will be told in these gnarly forms.
Gnarly forms in abundance often look like these venerable twisted northern red and chestnut oaks.
Did we merely drive around and snap the easy pictures? Not so.
But by day's end, we did wimp out. Here is a shot from the comfort of the Peaks of Otter Lodge.
I will be writing a lot about the Falling Waters Cascade to Flat Top Mountain trail. It is a jewel and it is loaded with ancient tree forms. Here is a section of the trail. Downed, huge chestnut oaks reminded us that the story of the old growth must be told in the downed as well as the standing, the dead as well as the living. Images of hulking forms, standing dead, are a bit sad, but these old forests have long memories.
One of the small, dainty flowers that blooms in profusion along the upper part of the trail - Dutchman's Breeches. Their blossoms are small and hard to capture, but from the trail, the scene was most compelling.
And last, but certainly not least, the trillium in all its regalia - a southern Appalachian specialty.
I didn't include my usual cumbersome quota of numerical entries in this post to prove to myself that I can converse without spewing out a stream of numbers. But Man, I'm bursting at the seams.

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: Progress on Blue Ridge Parkway Book

Post by James Parton » Mon May 02, 2011 11:18 am

Beautiful photography, Bob! There is nothing like the Appalachians and the Blue Ridge Parkway. That reminds me. I got a hawthorn to measure.
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids ... Itemid=145

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Progress on Blue Ridge Parkway Book

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri May 06, 2011 4:08 pm

Bob, I agree with James. What a beautiful place. Can't wait to hear more about the book. Larry

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