Sheer Determination

Buffy and I hiked up the dry creek bed on Eagle Mountain where we hiked often in the winter and spring. A Christmas fern that I found on one of those hikes was still alive. I was shocked! Shocked because we’re 11 inches behind in rainfall.

The fronds were 6-8 inches long.

The little fern grows on the rock in the foreground that’s green with mosses.

The mosses weren’t dried out, except in a few places. There must be some condensation at night from the humid air. Maybe the fern has a way to compensate too. The cavity it grows in looked to be a tight fit.

Buffy and I took a few minutes to just sit.

The creek bed isn’t the easiest for walking.

A parula warbler gave it’s buzzy call that rose in pitch. A Carolina wren repeated “tea kettle.”  Occasionally the wind added its leaf-rustling noise. With the ravine behind me, it gave me a good view of the sandstone glade that rose up from the creek.

Sandstone glades are a dry rocky plant community. They differ from the sandstone barrens on my rural property by the percentage of rock at the surface. Lots of mosses and lichens grow on the rocks and ground on glades. The trees can be stunted from the harsh conditions. There are also limestone barrens and glades.

I usually only investigate the glade here during the winter. The Eagle Mountain area has an abundance of rattlesnakes. Need I say more?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Therese on June 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Great pictures especially of Buffy!


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