Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Nurse stumps at the accidental swamp.

After a morning on the mudflat, an afternoon at the swamp.

This is Woodhaven Swamp, at the edge of Belcarra Park. The swamp was created by accident, when new road construction blocked a creek, and flooded a patch of forest. The area was settled early in the 1900s. The original western red cedar forest was cleared, to be replaced by second-growth Douglas fir and western Hemlock.

The stumps of the cedars remain. They were all cut several feet above the ground to avoid sawing through the buttresses. Sawyers stood on planks that were inserted into slots cut into the trunk, so-called "springboard notches."

Springboard notch.

Western red cedar nurse stump with crown of red huckleberry.

Every stump serves as a source of nutrients for new growth, most commonly red huckleberry and western hemlock, thus the name, nurse stump.

Hemlock, outgrowing its exhausted-looking nurse stump.

A few red cedars remain, but are nowhere near the size of those cut down a century ago.

Nurse stump, engulfed.

1 comment:

Martina said...

Keep up the good work.