Images of the Hardwood Forest

Here’s the White River at dawn.
Numerous cutoffs and sloughs
are formed as the river changes its course.
The forest canopy varied from about 20’ to over 100’.
Some of the forest was diverse-aged, some even-aged. 
There were many interesting shaped trees.
The slingshot tree, donut tree, stumpless tree, and a duck-blind tree.
Moss covered some trees.
There was sometimes a lot of vegetation growing high up in forks of the larger trees.  Brian Gibbons, one of the volunteers in my group, recognized some of it as Resurrection Plant and brought a piece back to our headquarters. In this saucer with water, it greened up in just a few hours
Really big roots were present
on  some species of trees in the lower parts of the hardwood forest.
Lost boats, washed far into the woods by floods, were found a lot.  I found this one, Brian found five.

Because most of the White River Refuge had been logged long ago, the few original trees remaining really contrasted with the younger forest today.  Here are some examples of those virgin forest trees.
This old sycamore was maybe seven or eight feet in diameter.  My hat rests in the 14” diameter hole.
This old cypress is taller than me, even on its side.  I put the video camera on top of the log for scale. Can you see it?
Most of the un-cut old growth trees have died and look about like this one.
Big cavities you could crawl into
are present in many old-growth snags.
The last stage of an old-growth tree is this type of faint circle.

Vines were impressive in the woods. Greenbriar, blackberry, Poison Ivy and grapevine were abundant.  Since much of my travel in the woods was off-trail before dawn and after dusk, I came back with plenty of Poison Ivy on face, neck, and arms in spite of layered clothing.

Vines went far into the canopy of most reees.
Sometimes the vines paralleled the tree, but most times  the vines clung to the trunk.
Click here for a contrast of the two types
Here's a good Tarzan vine.
Some vines strangle the trees, some trees strangle the vines.
Several vine-strangling outcomes
are shown in these pictures.

There was a lot of evidence of birds and animals in the hardwood forest.  We saw raccoon, possum, deer, bobcat and nutria.
There was abundant bear scat in some places. 
A black bear had climbed this cypress.
 Nutria has scaled a trees were present occasionally.
Woodpeckers had drilled everywhere.  Seven species of woodpecker thrive in the Big Woods. 
Snags usually were pock-marked like this one, mostly by Pileated Woodpeckers.
Sapsuckers put lines of holes mostly on Sweet Gums and Hackberry trees but sometimes other trees as here.
Workings of Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers were numerous.
Pileated Woodpeckers holes seemed most numerous in sycamore, hackberry, oak, and cypress.
There were actually many types of oaks.  Probably the Red Oak and Overcup Oak had the most Pileated holes of the oaks, with Willow Oak, and Water Oak having the least.

The most common birds I saw were White-throated Sparrows and Carolina Wrens.  The most common birds I heard were Carolina Wrens, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpeckers, Mallard, and Snow Goose, in that order.