TH 'e Latest From Dolly Sods, West Virginia ...
Joane and I have just returned from the beautiful, misty hills of
WVa where we Roman-bathed in the warm mineral waters of Berkeley
Springs, and folk-danced at a YMCA camp in the Monongahela (I can't
spell that) National Forest. Camp Horseshoe sports a nice variety
of large trees, probably many of which were imported when it was
originally landscaped, circa early-mid-1900's? It seems in this
filtered-light, cool, wet environment that the trees grow differently -
very tall and slim and dropping their lower branches. Sycamores
and others seem to mimic the Tulip Poplars, which are abundant here.
This got me thinking about the Tulip (Yellow) Poplar tree - Liriodendron
tulipifera, in the Magnolia family. Our tallest trees here, often
having no lower branches for the 1st 50 or 60 feet, how do they
pollinate? With their showy yellow & red-flecked flowers, presumably
designed for bees & other insects, can these flowers in the very top
of the forest really attract much bee traffic all the way up there?
Just wondering, if you happen to know ...
WVa's M. National Forest is also home to an ecological fluke known as the
`Dolly Sods', left behind after the last retreating glacier or so. This
unlikely niche, occupying only a few square miles, is the home for other-
wise exotic flora & fauna native to sub-tundra systems much farther north
in Canada. The dense packing of ferns, grasses, low shrubs, lichens, mosses
& wildflowers is a lesson to us here at TREE-HOUSE of just how much diverse
vegetation can coexist in a small area. We were there in a *heavy* fog,
and it was other-worldly. With its strange rocks strewn all around, Dolly
Sods is a must-see in any weather!
Richard, Discussion List Administrator < firstname.lastname@example.org >.