Monday, June 9, 2008

.44" of Rain in Wildwood, Florida......North Carolina Cove Forest

I guess our bizarre weather is contagious. Yesterday the Florida garden got almost half an inch of rain, 2/3s of what it has received since mid-April. Maybe the wet season has begun.

They're called "cove forests" because they are forests that grow in coves, small valleys that cut into bigger mountains. The walls are steep, the species diverisity and the rainfall are high and so is the biomass. Mark Hall showed us one ~30 acre cove dominated by Liriodendron tulipifera, yellow poplar, or tulip tree. It had apparently been measured and determined to be the densest stand of Yellow Poplar in the world. We looks, initially not fully impressed; the trees seemed larger than those we knew from Washington, but still...maybe not so much larger. Until you think about the heights. These are some seriously tall trees.

With basically twice our annual rainfall, growth is not an issue; I was surprised less by the massive Liriodendron, Acer rubrum, and typical large tree, than I was by seeing 60+' Magnolia fraseri in quantity. Or such a variety of Hickory so immense. All the trees were big.

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