Images of the Hardwood Forest
Here’s the White River at dawn.
Numerous cutoffs and sloughs are
as the river changes its course.
The forest canopy varied from
about 20’ to over 100’.
Some of the forest was diverse-aged,
There were many interesting shaped trees.
tree, donut tree, stumpless tree, and a duck-blind tree.
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
Really big roots were present on
some species of trees in the lower parts of the hardwood
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.
vines paralleled the tree, but most times the vines clung to the
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.
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
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
Pileated Woodpeckers holes
seemed most numerous in sycamore, hackberry, oak, and
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.