Bryophytes too were generally abundant throughout both habitats, on down wood, rocks, tree bases and extending up trunks. A microscopic examination by R. Hunsucker of these bryophytes yielded the following list of species, in which liverworts are explicitly indicated, while mosses constitute the rest.
Anomodon attenuatus- on soil, bases of trees
A. minor- on lower trunks and bases of trees and on rotting down
A. rostratus- on bases of trees, soil
Atrichum undulatum- on soil, humus
Aulocomnium heterostichum- 0n soil and bases of trees
Brachythecium sp- on rotting wood
Brotherella recurvans- on base of rotting Yellow Birch snags and
Campylium chrysophyllum- on soil and humus
Chiloscyphus profundus- a liverwort 0m moist soil, humus and rotting
Dicranella heteromalla- on open disturbed places
D. montanum- on rotting wood and lower trunks of dead trees
D. scoparium- on humus and soil
D. sp- on soil
Frullania asagrayana- a liverwort on bark of deciduous trees
Hypnum curvifolium- on boulders, rotting fallen trees
H. pallescens- on decaying fallen trees
Isopterygium tenerum - on rotting fallen trees and soil
Leucobryum albidum- on rotting fallen trees and soil
Mnium affine var ciliare on moist rotting wood, rocks and humus
M. punctatum var punctatum- on rocks in stream or on wet substrate
Nowellia curvifolia- a liverwort on rotting moist fallen tree trunks
Plagiochila asplenioides- a liverwort on moist soil and rocks
Plagiothecium cavifolium- on rotting Yellow Birch stumps and boles
Thuidium delicatulum var delicatulum- on a variety of substrates:
Rocks, soil, decaying wood and bases of trees
Taxiphyllum deplanatum- on rotting wood
Tetraphis pellucida-on rotting wood
The most conspicuous and determined fauna here was mosquitoes.
Farther up the rapidly- steepening slope we noted Carex gracillima, Rattlesnake Fern (Botrychium virginianum), the fungi Tremellodendron pallidum on soil and Tricholomopsis platyphylla on wood, Broad-leaved Waterleaf ( Hydrophyllum canadense), Broad-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis), Miterwort (Mitella diphylla), Crooked-stem Aster (Aster prenanthoides) and Clustered Snakeroot (Sanicula gregaria). The base of a steep slope, occupied by a 3 foot (0.9 m) dbh Sugar Maple, was covered by abundant Blue Cohosh and Carex plantaginea, in keeping with the floral enrichment expected from colluvial processes here.
The old woods road occupied the slope above the big Sugar Maple. Here were more Ramps, Christmas Fern (Polytrichum acrostichoides). Heart-leaved Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata), Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix), a manna grass (Glyceria sp), Golden Ragwort (Senecio aureus), Thornless Blackberry and the fungi Xeromphalina kaufmannii and Rickenella fibula. A determination of soil pH of the upper road bank on our 9-8-98 visit yielded values in the range of 4.5 to 5.0. Although this value may indicate more than average vertical leaching for the sample, it showsthat, despite the floral diversity, the regime is a quite acidic one.
Our second inventory, on the evening of 8-5-98, began in essentially swamp forest which occurs on both sides of FR-102 leading to the Cow Pasture Trailhead.It is by and large quite young and trees generally did not exceed one foot (0.3 m) dbh. The canopy is dominated by Hemlock and Red Spruce with subordinate Yellow Birch and Red Maple. Great Rhododendron is present, although this forest is quite open. The Sweet Tooth mushroom (Hydnum repandum) was collected to add to our evening meal.
On entering the Cow Pasture Trail, the forest is similar to that described above, except for details. Successively noted were the liverwort Bazzania trilobataon tree bases, seedlings of Fraser Magnolia, Mountain Ash, six-inch (15 cm) fish in a trail-side ditch, abundant New York Fern, the manna grasses Glyceria striata and G. melicaria, Great Rhododendron on the ditch bank with Intermediate Shield Fern, the call of a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttata), an Amanita fungus, Foam Flower, unidentified species of Atrichum and Mniummosses, then canada Mayflower, Blue Monkshood (Aconitum uncinatum), seedlings of Beech, Partridge Berry and six inch high Spruce and Hemlock seedlings.
We had now reached the edge of the alder swamp that forms a narrow fringe along the Cranberry River and represents the attenuated northwest arm of the Glades. Here, among the Speckled Alder,was New York Fern, the wedge grass Sphenopholis pensylvanica, Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) only beginning to bloom, Cowbane (Oxypolis rigidior) already in bloom,as was also the spectacular tall phlox, Phlox glaberrina. In attendance on the latter's red-purple flowers were numerous Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) Butterflies.
Moving farther into the open, we saw Interrupted Fern (Osmunda claytoniana), Dotted St. Johns-wort (Hypericum dentatum), the tall sedge Carex gynandra, Flat-top White Aster (Aster umbellatus), beginning to bloom, Wide-leaved Joe-pye Weed, Carex lurida, White Hellebore already in decay, Grass-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia), the wild rye grasses Elymus riparius and E. virginicus and Golden Ragwort.
Now reaching a small stream crossing, we saw more Phlox glaberrima in bloom, Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) also in bloom, shrubs of Black Elderberry, Leather-leaf Meadowrue (Thalictrum coriaceum), Steel's Meadowrue (T. steeleanum), Wood Reed Grass (Cinna arundinacea), Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma) in bloom with butterflies in attendance and Deertongue Grass (Panicum clandestinum), while in the stream were Small Burreed (Sparganium chlorocarpon) and Grassy Pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus).
A little beyond this stream a large blue-black wasp with bright yellow antennae was active, as were Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax ) butterflies. Here we also saw the manna grass Glyceria grandis, a heavily-browsed, rather glaberous, Arrowwood Viburnum, and on the elevated trail-side bank, Choke Cherry, which was also heavily browsed. These were accompanied by Upright Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta), Wild Lettuce (Lactuca canadensis), a patch of rather stunted Blue Joint Grass and an unidentified lily (Lilium sp).
We had now reached the main channel of the Cranberry River, here about ten feet (3 m) wide and a meter deep. The pH of River water here was measured at 5.5.
An extraordinarily dense growth of herbs occupied an opening at the stream edge. Here was Rice Cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), Rough Bedstraw (Galium asprellum) in bloom, Mad-dog Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), tall, large- panicled Fowl Bluegrass (Poa palustris), Northern Bugleweed (Lycopus uniflorus), Water Smartweed (Polygonum punctatum), Arrow-leaf Tearthumb (P. sagittatum), an unidentified Gentian (Gentiana sp) and Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata). Also noted were numerous non-biting flies and the Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas) Butterfly.
Not far beyond the River channel lay the edge of the upland forest. Here we terminated our traverse, but not before noting the presence of a layer of Ground Berry at the forest edge. We will return to a nearby part of the Cow Pasture Trail in our inventory of 9-9-98.
Our third inventory of this visit, that of the morning of 8-6-98, occurred during a brief clockwise traverse of the Botanical Area boardwalk. Passing first through a section of swamp forest, we noted in succession the following: a Hemlock, Red Spruce and Yellow Birch canopy of mixed age, Black Elderberry, Spotted Jewelweed, Black Cohosh, Oswego Tea, Thornless Blackberry, Abundant Carex plantaginea, Wood Nettle, Great Rhododendron, unidentified birds and their calls, Downy Wood Violet, Mountain Ash, Wide-leaved Joe-pye Weed, Foam Flower, Mountain Fern Moss (Hylocomium splendens), the manna grass Glyceria melicaria, very abundant Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis), Marsh Marigold, a large Mnium moss (likely Mnium punctatum) in a wet area, Canada Mayflower and a Yellow Clintonia.Coming then to the edge of the open glade we saw Cinnamon Fern, Cowbane in bloom, Speckled Alder, Tall Meadowrue (Thalictrum pubescens), abundant Purple-stem Aster (Aster puniceus), some with a white mold covering the leaves, Winterberry Holly, Purple-leaved Willow Herb (Epilobium coloratum) in bloom, seedlings of Red Maple, Wild Raisin, Smooth Serviceberry, Hispid Greenbrier (Smilax hispida), Southern Mountain Cranberry, Rice Cutgrass and a few patches of Sphagnum moss.
We now reached the edge of a sedge meadow dominated by Carex utriculata, with abundant Cotton Sedge and Beaked Rush, as well as Swamp Candles (Lysimachia terrestris), with vegetative bulbs in its leaf axils, Arrowleaf Tearthumb and more Spotted Jewelweed. The sedge meadow gradually gave way to bog with mostly lower plants, including cranberries, numerous seedlings of Black Chokeberry, Marsh St. Johns-wort (Triodenum fraseri or Hypericum virginicum), still abundant Beaked Rush and Cotton Sedge, the rush Juncus subcaudatus, Yellow Bartonia (Bartonia virginica), a little Glyceria Grandis, Three-way Sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum) and Autumn Bent Grass. Also, small white lepidoptera were seen here. A pH determination of the organic matter immediately below cranberries on 9-8-98 fell in the range of 4.0 to 4.5.
As we again entered the swamp forest we saw Claytons Bedstraw (Galium tinctorium), Blue Monkshood, Phlox glaberrima and Turtlehead (Chelone glabra), all in fullbloom, and marveled at the subtle complexity as well as the beauty of the Monkshood flower. Also present here was Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) past its prime, Crooked-stem Aster in bloom, Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) also in bloom, Clammy Hedge Hyssop (Gratiola neglecta), a little Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis), Oblong-fruited Serviceberry, Long-stalked Holly and Spice Bush, as well as the Spice Bush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Butterfly. A Green Frog (Rana clamitans) was heard calling as we ended our traverse in the vicinity of a large Yellow Birch, a tree signed to be near 300 years in age.
Our visit to the Glades on 8-24-98 to 8-26-98 occurred during a warm spell, with maximum temperatures generally in the 70s to 80s degree F (20 to 25 degree C). It was quite dry, with light winds, usually a few high clouds and heavy morning dew. Birds seen at our camp were House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) during early mornings, Chickadees, probably Black-capped (Parus atricapillus), with unidentified vireos and thrushes sounding from the forest. Bats were present each evening, and on that of 9-24-98 R. Hunsucker, with great skill, captured and described a Common Stonefly (Perlidae) that had entertained us with its acrobatics before alighting nearby. Also seen during the day here was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) and a Red Admiral ( Vanessa alalanta) Butterfly.
Measurements were also made of the pH of Yew Creek and of that of a springbrook that issues from the adjacent upland forest.These measurements yielded values of 5.5 and 5.0 respectively. Red clay from a bank immediately under a Polytrichum mat in association with Common Clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum), Creeping Five-leaf and Red Spruce had a pH of 4.3 while organic soil under Hemlock in the adjacent upland forest had a similar value.
On the morning of 8-25-98 we began a traverse up Kennison Mountain, a ridge that borders the Glades on the soutwest. Our traverse follwed the Pocahontas Trail and consisted of six legs,extending from the traihead on Route 39, at an elevation of 3560 feet (1086 m), to the summit at 4080 feet (1244 m) asl. Deviating from the Glades norm, the weather during this traverse was cool and pleasant, with light wind. Species and terrain features are listed in the order in which they were observed and scientific names are, with few exceptions, given for species not previously encountered or mentioned.
The first leg of our traverse essentially followed the 3600 (1098 m) contour southeast for about 0.5 mile (0.8 km). The canopy at the start consisted of Hemlock, Beech, yellow and Black Birches, Red Maple, Black Cherry of good form, White Ash, Northern Red Oak and a few American Basswood. The understory was dominated by Striped Maple, with some Hophornbeam and a few Red Spruce saplings. Although there were few shrubs, Hobblebush and Beaked Hazelnut were present. Intermediate Shield Fern was abundant, as was Shining Clubmoss and Partridge Berry. Other herbs were Round-leaf Violet, Carex debilis, Pink Ladyslipper (Cypripedium acaule), White Wood Sorrel, Medeola, Tree Clubmoss, New York Fern and Large Round-leaf Orchis (Habenaria orbiculata), all in all a strongly acidiphile community.
Associated fungi were Scleroderma citrinum, Collybia confluens, Entoloma salmoneum, Xerula furfuracea with its deep root, Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor), the Ash Bolete (Gyrodon merulioides), common in the vicinity of White Ash, and undetermined species of Russula and Psathyrella.
The foregoing herbs characterized local convexities, while the flora of the ravine sides and bottoms was much richer and more diverse. Included in the latter were Carex plantaginea, Sessile-leaved Bellwort, Wood Nettle, Curtis Goldenrod (Solidago curtisii), Lettuce Saxifrage (Saxifraga micranthidifolia), Ramps, Drooping Wood Reed Grass, Christmas Fern, Brachyelytrum erectum, Honewort, Virginia Strawberry (Fragaria virginica), Carex scabrata, Downy Wood Volet, Sweet White Violet, Hooked Crowfoot, Foam Flower, Nodding Fescue, White Snakeroot and Wide-leaved Joe-pye Weed.
Farther along the leg, and mostly on an upland slope, we saw the liverwort Nowellia curvifolia in its characteristic habitat on a rotting down bole, the fungus Daedaliopsis confragosa, Thornless Blackberry, Mountain Oat Grass (Danthonia compressa) at the trail-side, a Clintonia (likely Clintonia borealis), Hairy Disporum, Leucobryum moss; then the first seedlings of Sugar Maple, followed by Hispid greenbrier, the wood rush Luzula acuminata, Great Chickweed (Stellaria pubera), abundant Shining Clubmoss, Painted Trillium, Filmy Angelica (Angelica triquinata), Witch Hazel, Glyceria melicaria, Canada Mayflower and Silvery Glade Fern. Associated mosses were Delicate Fern Moss, species of Dicranum, Mnium and, particularily on down boles, Hypnum.
Next seen were Autumn Bent Grass, seedlings of Fraser Magnolia, Carex laxiflora, Black-capped Chickadee and Wild Blue Phlox.
We now arrived at a sprinbrook ravine with abundant Carex plantaginea, Tall White Lettuce (Prenanthes altissima) coming into bloom, Blue Cohosh with fruit,Glyceria striata and Hairy-jointed Meadow Parsnip. Here also Sugar Maple came into prominence, with Cucumbertree and White Ash, and the latter accompanied by Ash Bolete. Beginning here there was a relatively enriched slope on which the most demanding species were no longer confined to topographic cocavities. Along this slope we saw Wake Robin (Trillium erectum), the first Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis) bearing the moss Neckera pennata, Hoof Fungus, American Basswood, quite large Northern Red Oak, Black Birch, Sweet-scented Bedstraw, Sweet White Violet and, in an unusual association, the ordinarily calciphile Sharp-lobe Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) in close association with the acidiphiles Canada Mayflower and White wood Sorrel.Also seen in the vicinity were Dog Lichen (Pelligera canina), the fungus Mycena haematopus on oak, Rattlesnake Fern (Botrychium virginianum), Dutchman's Pipe vine (Aristolochia macrophylla), Pinesap (Monotropa hypopithys), a species of the liverwort Frullania on Black Birch and Carex gracillima.
Reaching another small ravine, we saw BlackCohosh, Ramps, Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina), Hog Peanut (Amphicarpa bracteata) in its only appearance, abundant Sugar Maple, the Chaga Fungus (Inonotus obliquus) on Black Birch, Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) and Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum). The soil here was a reddish loam.
Now approaching the end of the leg, we entered an area with many Northern Red Oak in excess of two feet (0.6 m) dbh, with smaller Sugar Maple, the first noted Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacea), Carrion Flower (Smilax herbacea), Brachyelytrum erectum and the fungus Tricholomopsis platyphylla.
At this point the trail turned sharply right on the second leg of our traverse. Here were numerous Sugar Maples of various size classes, the first noted Pallid Jewelweed (Impatiens pallida) in bloom, the bullrush Scirpus atrovirens, the acidiphile sedge Carex intumescens and Wide-leaved Joe-pye Weed, also in bloom, but showing few of the characteristics of this plant, such as purple nodes and stems.Also present here was the fungus Trichaptum biforme on down wood.
Advancing along the second leg we saw Plume Lily, Downy Many Knees (Polygonatum pubescens), the fungus Clitocybe gibba, Red Elderberry in its first appearance, seedlings of Bitternut Hickory and Four-leaved yam.
At 3760 feet (1147 m) asl we arrived at a sharp left turn in the trail and the third leg of our traverse. This leg again rather closely approximated the contour, initially passing through dryer forest than that below. Here were large Northern Red Oak and smaller Beech, while New York Fern and Four-leaved Yam formed a sparce ground cover and imparted a sense of both northern and southern floras. In one place a large cluster of Jack-O- Lantern mushrooms (Omphalotus olearius) on a stump attracted our attention. Subsequently the adjacent slope steepened,exposing a reddish soil and a more luxuriant flora. Sugar Maple dominated the canopy and fallen wood contained a striking example of the edible tooth fungus Hericium americanum.. While the forest here was open and relatively free of shrubs and small trees, herbs abounded. Included were Clustered Snakeroot, Blue Cohosh and Wood Nettle, with the latter heavily invested by the Appalachian endemic, Beaked Dodder (Cuscuta rostrata). Ahead the impression of richness was sustained by the presence of Large-flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), one of the most demanding herbs, a dense stand of Ramps and Wild Blue Phlox. Only a single plant of May Apple ( Podophyllum peltatum) was seen however.
Associated fungi were Russula fragrantissima, with its distinctive odor, Mycena leaiana and the edible Pholiota squarrosoides, all characteristic of northern hardwood forest (Phillips, 1991).
Continuing through this forest type, we saw Canada Violet (Viola canadensis) and Broad-leaf Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum canadense) as we approached a sharp right turn in the trail at almost 3800 feet (1159 m) asl. Here our fourth leg of the traverse began by our seeing a four inch (10 cm) millipede, dark in color, with red stripes, on the trunk of a Sugar Maple.Following were abundant Hairy Disporum and the fungus Crepidotus mollis, a species also characteristic of deciduous woods. We then again entered a less rich forest, noting the fungus Russula compacta, with its strong fishy odor, and that most of ground flora had been left behind. However we did see Dutchman's Pipe vine, the Pipe Vine Swallowtail (Papilio philenas) Butterfly and the first Mountain Aster (Aster acuminatus).
The fifth leg of our traverse began with a sharp left turn in the trail at 3960 feet (1208 m) asl. The soil here was light colored and sandy and the forest quite dry, with a canopy of Beech and Northern Red Oak. Among the ground flora was abundant Brachyelytrum erectum and Black Cohosh in bloom- months later than that 2000 feet lower and likely at the clmatic limit for the species. Also seen on the trail here here was a dead shrew (Sorex sp) .
We soon reached a sharp right turn at the 4000 foot (1220 m) level and were greeted by a small group of Juncos (Junco hyemalis) under a Beech- Sugar Maple canopy. Striped Maple was abundant and there were fire scars on the Beech. Fungi noted were Hygrophorus aurantiaca on soil and Phelimus rimosus on the Beech.
Now continuing on a gentle slope, we passed through rather dry Beech-Red Maple stands with a sparse ground flora but with abundant Beech Drops ( Epifagus virginiana), which, at over a foot (0.3 m) in height, were the tallest ever seen by us. Soon following were Black and Yellow Birches and the first Red Spruce, here in the form of saplings, that we had seen since leaving the lowest slopes. A curiosity here was the presence of large umbilicate lichens on a rotting down bole of Beech.
We now entered an area of large blocks of gray, coarse-grained conglomeratic sandstone, such as is usually found in the Kanawha Formation. This sandstone was accompanied by an increase in ferns, among which Intermediate Shield Fern dominated, but with a substantial frequency of Mountain Wood Fern ( Dryopteris campyloptera), a species usually confined to the coolest climates. Only the call of a Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) broke the silence here.
Ahead the canopy was increasingly populated by young to mature Black and Yellow Birches, with Beech, Red Maple and Northern Red Oak Abundant Red Spruce sapings of various sizes formed a dense understory in places. The only shrub noted was Hobblebush with attractive red and varicolored leaves and red fruit. New York, Itermediate Shield and Mountain WoodFerns comprised a ground cover with a little Medeola. The edible fungus Boletus subtomentosus, a characteristic species of conifer forests, also occurred here.
As the trail leveled further, there were larger Red Spruce, some 20 inches (0.5 m) dbh or more, in association with good sized Beech, BlackCherry and Red Maple. Striped Maple formed an understory, both saplings and seedlings of Spruce were abundant and Thornless Blackberry and Hobblebush constituted a shrub layer. Ferns continued abundant and were accompanied in the groundflora by Shining Clubmoss, Partridge Berry, Mountain Aster and Brachyelytrum Grass. In places there were also seedlings and perhaps larger trees of Sugar Maple and Cucumber and Fraser Magnolias, while some down boles had the appearance of American Chestnut. Curtis Goldenrod also occurred here, as at scattered locations at all levels, and was practiclly the only goldenrod seen. In one place a Bear had left its claw marks on a large Spruce, shredding the bark.
The forest types encountered on this traverse illustrate well the relations between the topography, rock type and climate. At the lowest elevations this is reflected in the correlation between the the flora and the microtopography in which the most acidiphile species are concentrated on convexities, a relation similar to that found on our first traverse on 8-5-98 southwest of the Botanical Area parking lot.The widespread occurrence of rich mesic forest types on the mid-slopes of Kennison Mountain is related to rich soils derived from the Bluestone and New River Formations through colluvial processes and to the ample air drainage on these slopesthat prevents the accumulation of cold air. These relations are similar to those observed by us at the Three Forks of the Williams River, where the same geologic formations occur. However there the 1000 foot (300 m) lower elevations allow the occurrence of additional warm climate species such as Tuliptree. Also seen here is the mirror effect by which cold climate species like Spruce, Yellow Birch and Canada Mayflower occur on valley flats and at the highest elevations, but not between.
Our inventory on the morning of 8-26-98 was brief, cursory and extended from F R 102 across and about 1/3 mile (0.5 km) beyond Charles Creek along the Cow Pasture Trail. Conditions were quite warm, with tmperatures in the 80 degree F (25 degree C) range.
The first section of the Trail passes through glade-side forest with a canopy of young to mature Red Spruce, Hemlock, Yellow and Black Birches, Beech, Red and Sugar Maples. Mountain Maple was an understory species here,and in places Ground Pine (Lycopodium flabelliforme) was conspicuous in the ground flora under conifers. However indicators of rich soil, such as Wood Nettle, were also present, while Carex scabrata and Scirpus pollyphyllus were common in springbrooks.
Birds seen and/or heard in this forest were American Robin (Turdus migratorius), Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata), Hairy Woodpecker (Picodes villosus), Pileated Woodpecker (Hylotomus pileatus), Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) and a Blue Jay in imitation of the latter. A high point was our dog flushing a Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) from a muddy trail-side ditch. This bird, far south of its normal breeding range, rose a few inches from the dog's nose.
Also seen in this section of the Trail was a large outcrop of light gray limestone, a feature of the underlying Hinton Formation that contributes greatly to the biodiversity of the Glades.
Emerging from the forest, the Trail crosses a large grass/ sedge/ forb meadow with scattered shrubsthat borders Charles Creek. Prominent species here were Grass-leaved and Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrods, Flat- top White and Purple-stem Asters, Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Pipestem and Silky Willow. Flocks of Goldfinch ( Spinus tristis tristis) and numerous butterflies, imcluding Swallowtails (Papilio spp), Monarch (Danaus plexippus), Red Admiral and other species were seen in this warm, sunny opening. At the first bridge crossing of a creek we noted fish up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length.
After another stream crossing - which marked the main channel of the Creek - we saw more Goldfinch, this time in hawthorn, then small Northern Red Oak with many insect-perforated leaves. followed by Indigo Bunting (Passarina cyanea), a Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala) Butterfly, and lying in the Trail, a dead Hairy-tailed Mole ( Paroscalops breweri).
As we entered the forest again, we saw Juncos, and in a small gully under a light deciduous canopy, a large patch of Great Indian Plantain (Cacalia muhlenbergii), with tall seed-bearing stalks. However the Plantain was immediately adjacent to a quite different community of Hemlock with an acidiphile ground flora and which occupied a topographic convexity. Thus ended our traverse.
Of the two traverses made on 9-9-98, the first was a brief morning foray into the swamp forest immediately northeast of the turn-around. The canopy here was young and dominated by Red Spruce, some of which were quite large, in association with Hemlock, Yellow Birch, Red Maple and minor Black Ash. Great Rhododendron was the dominant shrub, but was mostly confined to slightly elevated areas, Spice Bush was common,and it and Winterberry Holly were generally located in wet, lower areas near the springbrooks that imparted the swampy character to this forest. Herbs identified were Carex scabrata, Scirpus cyperinus, Mad-dog Skullcap, Intermediate Shield and Sensitive Ferns, Dotted St. Johns-wort, Glyceria melicaria, Pennsylvania Bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica), Drooping Wood Reed Grass, Clayton's Bedstraw, Downy Wood Violet, Golden Ragwort, Tall Meadowrue, Crooked- stem Aster and Skunk Cabbage. Groundberry was the only vine seen. Mosses noted were Mnium punctatum and a species of Atrichum, altough others were doubtless present. The leafy liverwort Bazzania trilobata occurred on low hummocks under conifers. The conk Ganoderma tsugae was present on dead Hemlock and other fungi included Panellus seratinus and P. stipticus, both also on dead wood, and a Laccaria on soil. An overturned Spruce revealed a soil profile consisting of a three-inch (8 cm) mor layer over a sandy bleached zone. Crayfish castings were common in wet areas.
During the late morning and afternoon of 9-9-98 we did a rather rapid inventory of the north section of the Cow Pasture Trail.Our inventory began on the west side of a 1/3 mile (0.5 km) - wide peninsula that extendes into the Glades and continued east for a mile along the base of the bordering slope. Species and terrain features are listed here in the order their observation.
The young canopy initially encountered consisted largely of Beech and Black Cherry, with subordinate Yellow Birch, Sugar Maple and Red Spruce. Smooth Serviceberry was observed in the understory and Panicled Aster (Aster simplex) in the ground cover. Also noted were the fungi Inonotus tomentosus and Oyster Mushroom as well as a group of Juncos.
We soon came to a beautiful, rather mature forest of the before- mentioned hardwoods, including a 40 inch (1m)dbh Sugar Maple and substantial young Red Spruce. The ground flora included the remains of a large Trillium of undetermined species, Large Round-leaved Orchid and Ramps, with the accompaning fungi Honey Mushroom (Amillaria mellia), Pholiota squarrosioides, Trametes versicolor and a species of Mycena. It was noted that many small Spruce saplings were retarded in their recent growth of their leaders and had a "squashed- down" appearance as a result. Birds seen here were Chickadee (likely Black-capped) and Blue Jay.
Continuing we saw Miterwort, Carex plantaginea, Ash Bolete, and on a White Ash, a Striking growth of the moss Neckera pennata. Then on rather elevated terrain we saw a large American Basswood, Wild Blue Phlox, Sweet-scented Bedstraw and the fungus Campilium chrysophyllum. At this point Spruce saplings assumed a more normal appearance and there were small saplings of Yellow Buckeye, as well as a small band of thrush, likely Hermit, also the fungus Lactarius atroviridis, and ,under Hemlock, Painted Trillium. These were followed by Carrion Flower (Smilax herbacea), Cinnamon Fern, Ground Pine and Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii). The soil here, as in many places along this traverse, had a reddish color.
Cranberry Glades 8-26-98
Great Indian Plantain (Cacalia muhlenbergii) along Cow Pasture Trail.
We then came upon an interesting microecotone, where a springbrook was dammed by the trail bank. Vegetation in the resultant wetland consisted largely of Glyceria melicaria, with sedges and other grasses. Immediately above these on the bank-side there was a layer of Great Indian Plantain with Dotted Thorn, and, above these, on the bank-top, a community of Ground Pine and Groundberry. Since the latter community is acidiphile, and from its position, cosistent with vertical leaching, one might expect a gradient in acidity. Unfortunately, only one pH measurement was secured, that of the dark, fertile-appearing soil at the base of the Plantain, and this yielded a value of 5.0.It is possible that the pH of deeper layers in contact with the Plantain roots has a higher value.
Before emerging into an opening we saw a Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) and at the opening edge, vigorous 8 feet (2.4 m) Spruce saplings with growth increments of 2 feet (0.6 m) or more. This opening bordered an inlet of the Glades which consisted largely of Speckled Alder shrub swamp with an edge of Glade St. Johns-wort, Three-way Sedge, grasses and other sedges. Overlooking the inlet was an open stand of wide-spreading Red Spruce and Hemlock, with Mountain Laurel, Tree Clubmoss and Leucobryum glaucum in a familiar pattern of verically-leached and acidified upland soils edging less acidic ground water influenced wetland.
Beyond the inlet we arrived at the base of a rather steep northeast- trending slope. This slope was covered by an open stand of young, almost pure Sugar Maple,with trees in the range 0f a foot (0.3 m) dbh. Visible ground cover consisted almost entirely of Ramps, which were manifested as abundant ripe seed stalks. Likely other dormant vernal species were also present. As we continued, we at first passed through a grove of young to mature Yellow Buckeye, then again, still along the base of the slope, past more young Sugar Maple, some Basswood with a ground flora consisting mostly of New York Fern, and a little Blue Cohosh, while at acleaing edge there was Dotted Thorn. The mountain mint Pycnanthemum verticillatum was noted in the clearing.
Although our traverse was terminated here, we noted during our return over the same route, another occurrence of Great Indian Plantain, this time under a grove of Yellow Buckeye. Also apparent on the return,was the presencewithin the dominantly red soil type, of patches of a yellow color.
Additional fungi identified from this traverse by R. Hunsucker were the Bear Lentinus (Lentinellus ursinus) and the small, rubbery gelatnous, yellow-orange Dacryopinex spathularia.
As revealed by our inventories, strong correlations exist between the underlying and up-slope rock types, topography and floral diversity and luxuriance Where the nutrient-rich rocks of the Hinton Formation lie at depth, vertical leaching and isolation from ground waterhave given rise to upland connumities of conifers, Mountain Laurel and other acidiphiles. Where access to these rocks is more pronounced and/or ground water reaches the surface in seeps, rich upland forests of Sugar Maple, Basswood, White Ash, Ramps, Great Indian Plantain, Blue Cohosh and other mesic herbs are found. When the wetlands lie between and in isolation from stream channels and are out of contact with ground water, ombrotrophic bogs dominated by Sphagnum and Polytrichum mosses, cranberries and other acidiphiles develope. Conversely, where wetlands are in contact with streams and ground water, far more diverse floras, dominated by forbs, shrubs, grasses and sedges occur.In some places, as along the Botanical Area boardwalk, there is a close juxtaposition and blending of these habitats.
ReferencesBrooks, Maurice, 1930, Birds of Cranberry Glades, Wilson Bull. 42, 245-252.