Posted by Chris M Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thesis photographs take 4

Time for another round of thesis photographs. These are from upper Dunn Creek, a quite amazing area. Although it is fall (and leaves are starting to change), there are still a few wildflowers. A found a very localized grouping of Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica). In the streams there was tons of woody debris. The third image is a panorama that turned out pretty well.
Lobelia siphilitica Woody debris Woody debris panorama

The streams have more fish and salamanders than I ever saw in any other site while doing my field work. However, this may have to do with the weather. It was cool and rainy that day while all other days I was out were warm and dry.

However, the most amazing features were the trees. I had to hike through Albright Grove to get to the stream, but the huge trees didn't end there. Although there were numerous large Hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) and Tulip Populars (Liriodendron tulipifera), the Yellow Buckeyes (Aesculus flava) were what stood out. Not only were their sizes amazing, but there were many of them (outnumbering the Hemlocks).

A large Yellow Buckeye is a beautiful site. The bark takes on an attractive and distinct shaggy quality. The trunk itself is massive and I would guess perhaps 3rd in wood volume of GSMNP species (after Hemlock and Tulip Popular?). Despite the trunk size, it is quite graceful looking.

The first image is a Tulip Popular with a nice looking symmetric buttress. The other two are Yellow Buckeyes. I measured the CBH (circumference at breast height) of the last one as 14 ft 9 in!
Liriodendron tulipifera Aesculus flava Aesculus flava