Site 4: A Forest Clearing
The small, dim noises, thousand-fold
That all old houses, and forests hold.
Stephen Vincent Benet - John Brown's Body Invocation
The forest is constantly subject to change - storms bring strong winds and heavy rains, people pass through and often leave behind more than footprints, and species arrive from neighboring areas and colonize available space. At this site, you will see several trees have fallen from recent storms. As they fall, they open up space in the canopy for more sunlight to hit the forest floor. We can see here an example of "succession," a process of gradual change in species that live in a given area. Open spaces allow now species to grow and take over
The dull-leaf Indigobush (Amorphia fruticosa) has been known to grow here at times when clearings have appeared in the past. Today, new species may be colonizing this area. The fallen trees and abandoned stumps provide great habitat for insects. Along with, isopods, mushrooms, and other insectivores the insects break down the decaying wood as bacteria helps to transform the organic materials into usable forms for plants to take back up.
Explore the clearing, but be careful where you step! Sometimes the plants that colonize the area can have thorns!
Land of Fires - Site 4