Virtual Nature Trail

Stream Trail 7 - Windthrow and WetlandsWalking along the lower trail, we pass beneath an extensive stand of tall white ashes and a varying under-story of spice bush and witch hazel. To our right a large American beech lays windthrown across the stream. The roots of this tree form a twelve foot diameter mass onto which large amounts of light colored sub-soil still adheres. As the roots decompose, this soil will be spread across the surface of the top soil in a larger more extensive version of the soil mixing we observed in the earthworm middens earlier along this trail. Just past the bridging beech tree is a small, mounded "island" of accumulated soil and rock in the middle of the stream. This island is very moist and is, from spring though late summer, densely covered with the tall, dark green leafed skunk cabbage. This island represents a small, wetland ecosystem. We hope in the coming years to introduce a variety of wetland plants into this small, isolated habitat.

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