Saturday, September 20, 2008

typical forest at 3000 feet in the White Mountains

This is a fairly typical glimpse of the spruce-fir forest at 3000 feet. I slabbed northeast following the contour in the general direction of Zeacliff and Zeacliff Pond through this kind of growth. After a mile, or so, of bushwhacking in this stuff your ears, shorts, pockets, shoes, socks and pack get filled with fir balsam needles and it becomes very irritating. Notice that there's no witch-hobble (Vibernum alnifolium) in the photo. Witch-hobble is rare above 3000 feet in the Whites. There's some herbaceous growth on the floor, some clintonia (Clintonia borealis) a lily named after a former governor of New York that Bliss refers to as Blue Bead Lily because of the fruit, and prior to taking this photo I saw some star flower, Trientalis borealis, which is the only member of the primrose family that grows in this area at this altitude. Remind me to tell you a hilarious story about the star flower from when I was an apprenticing botanist under my brilliant teacher Harry Levy of the Arnold Arboretum. Also, in the vicinity of where I took this picture I was quite sure, for a few hundred yards, or so, that I was following one of the old logging roads that traversed this part of the mountain.

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