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Author Topic: A walk in the woods  (Read 7890 times)

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Offline Dodgy Loner

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A walk in the woods
« on: July 04, 2007, 12:15:34 AM »
I was on vacation last week, and I took a nice 11-mile hike through an old-growth forest with my camera in tow.  It was probably the most impressive stretch of forest I've ever seen, and I've got lots of pictures to show for it :).  There have been a lot of topics about tree and plant ID in this discussion room, but I thought I'd offer sumpthin' a little different.  I'm going to post pictures of the trees I saw, and see if you can figure out where I was.

Yellow birch
 

Red spruce
 

Pin cherry
 

Eastern hemlock
 

Black cherry
OK, I have to elaborate a little bit here.  The tree in this picture (or in any of the pictures) was in no was exceptional, but completely typical of what I was seeing along the trail.  I went through three coves where the dominant tree was, by far, black cherry.  They ranged from 20-40 inches in diameter and averaged 120' tall.  Many of the trees were 70-80' to the first branch.  It would have been impressive if it were a stand of yellow-poplar, but these were black cherries, and there were thousands of them!  It's nothing short of a miracle that these stands never saw a loggers axe.
 

This was a northern red oak that had fallen across the trail.  I counted 230 rings in this little tree, about 18" in diameter.  That was about 20' up, so I suspect that the tree was at least 250 years old.
 

Northern red oak
This tree was about 100 yards from the fallen tree.  I wonder how old it is ???
 

This little 9" tree doesn't look like it belongs with the others, but I included it here for a reason.  Unlike all of the other pictures in this post, this is the largest tree of its species I have ever seen!
 

It's an impressive specimen of American chestnut at nearly 40' tall.  To be honest, the fact that I consider this a impressive specimen is quite sad, considering how big they used to get :(.  The largest specimen ever measured was 17' in diameter.
 

So, what think ye?  Anyone want to guess where I was last week?
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Offline WDH

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2007, 12:52:37 AM »
I think I know but I ain't saying ;D.  Those are some beautiful trees.. Wish I could have been there :-\.  Re-charges the soul :).  I see that you had your trusty loggers tape in tow!
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Offline beenthere

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2007, 01:49:21 AM »
Hikin the Appalachian trail.....
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Jeff

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 09:03:28 AM »
Thats my guess as well.

The only place I have seen Cherry like that is in the Ludington Michigan State Park in the "Dune Forest".  Its just a very thin band of forest land but it has some very impressive trees. The best way to describe it is to quote Horace Kephart from his 1917 "Camping and Woodcraft" I posted this once before in its entirety HERE.

SAMENESS OF THE FOREST. --
All dense woods look much alike.  Trees of most species grow very tall in a forest that has never been cut over, their trunks being commonly straight and slender, with no branches within, say, forty feet of the ground. 

This is because they cannot live without sunlight for their leaves, and they can only reach sunlight by growing tall like their neighbors that crowd around them.  As the young tree shoots upward, its lower limbs atrophy and drop off. 

To some extent the characteristic markings of the trunk that distinguish the different species when they grow in the open, and to a greater extent their characteristic habits of branching, are neutralized when they grow in dense forest.

Consequently a man who can readily tell one species from another, in open country, by their bark and branching habits, may be puzzled to distinguish them in aboriginal forest.

Moreover, the lichens and mosses that cover the boles of trees, in the deep shade of a primitive wood, give them a sameness of aspect, so that there is some excuse for the novice who says that "all trees look alike" to him.
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Offline Lanier_Lurker

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2007, 09:55:12 AM »
That would be my guess as well.

A buddy of mine has a place on the Tallulah River (Seed Lake) over in Rabun County - and there are a bunch of those big spruces and hemlocks over there as well (although not quite as big as the ones in your pictures).  The elevation profile in his immediate area goes from 1750 to about 2000 feet.

The conifers are very dominant in that area for some reason.  There are some large eastern white pine specimens as well.  There are some nice hardwoods in the area, but the canopy is dominated by the big conifers.

Maybe this has something to do with the lost chestnut trees.

Offline asy

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2007, 10:06:50 AM »
Well, I have no idea where you are, but I must admit, If'n I EVER get to the USA I want to go there.

Magnificent photos, thank you so much for sharing them.

asy :D

PS: how long does it take to count 250 tree rings?!
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Offline Furby

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2007, 01:05:24 PM »
You folks understand that the Appalachian Trail is over 2100 miles long and passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia right ???
I think you need to narrow it down just a little bit!
Like where did he hike the 11 miles? ;)

I'm gonna say he was in The Great Smoky Mountains N.P.!

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2007, 02:21:21 PM »
Everybody was pretty close on this one - I was on a trail that crossed over the AT, but I didn't actually hike the AT itself.  Furby nailed it!  I was in the Great Smoky Mountains, specifically on the Sugarland Mountain trail.   It started near the peak of Clingman's Dome at about 6000 feet above sea level, and ended up only 3000 feet above sea level, so we passed through a huge variety of forest types on the way down, from the spruce-fir-yellow birch at the top to the oak-hickory-poplar at the bottom.  I've seen bigger trees, and I've seen older trees, but I've never seen such a diversity of big trees in one location.  It was truly a sight to behold!  I highly recommend the hike to anybody who's visiting the Smokies.

By the way, asy, if you do come to the USA, I'll be happy to be your tour guide if you want to hike the Smokies :).  You'll have to post some pictures of places that I can visit when I get down to Australia ;)!  Oh, and it took about 10 minutes to count the rings.  I had to count them with the tip of my pocketknife because the rings were so tight!
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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Offline Furby

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2007, 02:24:18 PM »
 smiley_big-grin2

Offline Tom

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2007, 02:36:18 PM »
I hiked to the top of Clingman's dome as a youth.  That entire end of the Appalachian Trail is beautiful. 

I have trouble conceiving the statement, "only 3000 feet above sea level".  We have airliners trying to get down from that height around here every day and they have to drop 2985' to do it.  :D :D
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Offline WDH

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2007, 08:56:45 PM »
I visited Clingmans dome with my family a few years ago.  We decided to pack a picnic lunch up to the dome and have lunch while enjoying the view.  The AT crosses nearby, and a couple of young lady hikers had stopped for a rest.  They were wet and pretty much bedraggled.  I asked them about their experience on the trail.  They looked very hungry.  So, we gave them most of our picnic lunch...chips, cookies, cold cokes, and several sandwiches.  You should have seen their faces :D.
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Offline Furby

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2007, 09:03:55 PM »
I was kinda figuring that when I get around to hiking the AT, rather then mail drops, I'd have FF drops.  ;D
Sure sounds like it might be possible eh WDH? :D

Offline WDH

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2007, 09:12:40 PM »
Furby, that is brilliant :D
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Offline Furby

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2007, 09:13:53 PM »
I'd eat pretty DanG good that way! smiley_big-grin2

Offline pigman

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2007, 11:05:24 PM »
This past Sunday the wife and I took a walk in the woods and climbed this fire tower.
 


Then I took this picture of a University owned forest.
 

The tower is the only still in use fire tower in Kentucky. The question is what is the forest's name. Furby, I bet you don't get this one. ;D


Bob
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Offline Furby

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2007, 12:05:45 AM »
Nope Bob, I didn't!
But I sure do now!!! 8)
In order to keep this going, I'll IM you the info so ya know I'm not blowing smoke. ;)
Folks if you don't know where Pigman is talking about, do some digging and try and find it, I had fun looking. :)

Offline pigman

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2007, 04:29:29 AM »
Quote
Furby, I bet you don't get this one.
  I was wrong again. :(  I should never underestimate the ability of a furby. ;)

Bob

Things turn out best for people who make the best of how things turn out.

Offline Jeff

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2007, 08:06:49 AM »
I'm guessing it has to do with spuds.  :)
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Offline Furby

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2007, 09:12:49 AM »
I'm guessing it has to do with spuds. :)
smiley_headscratch



Well Bob, I did take the hard route in finding it even though my gut said otherwise and it turns out my gut was right to begin with. ::)
Just remember......... google is your friend! ;)

Offline pigman

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Re: A walk in the woods
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2007, 09:17:01 AM »
I siaid the tower was in Kentucky. I could not see a forest all the way to Maine.

Bob
Things turn out best for people who make the best of how things turn out.


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