West Virginia top Tourist Attractions

Sitting Quietly, I See More And Hear More. The Small Things I Would Otherwise Walk Right By Begin To Attract My Attention. This Fern Here By My Knee: Why Is It Curled Up Like A Ball On The Top? Not The Usual Fiddlehead Pattern That Emerges In The Spring, But A Globe, As If Something Has Stitched The Pinnae Of The Fronds Together Into A Ball. And Something Has: A Green Caterpillar. The Caterpillar Climbs To The Top Of The Frond, Binds The Top Leaflets Together, And Connects Them To The Stalk Called The Rachis In Ferns With A Strong Silk Thread. This Causes The Top Of The Fern To Curl Downward.

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The Caterpillar Then Fastens The Side Leaflets With More Silk And Pulls The Resulting Ball Down Further Along The Rachis “In A Manner Analogous To Rolling Up A Carpet,” According To Scientists Who Studied This Procedure. At A Certain Distance From The Tip, The Rachis Gets Too Stiff To Roll Well, So The Caterpillar Bites A Notch In The Rachis, Enabling The Rachis To Curl. The Notch Is Cut So Skillfully That The Moisture- And Nutrient-Conducting Vessels Are Not Damaged. Wow.

All This Rolling Goes On Between 10:00 P.M. And 6:00 A.M. It Allows The Caterpillar To Feed On The Fern Tips Day Or Night Without Being Exposed To Harsh Weather, Hungry Birds, Or Parasitic Wasps. But, Although There Is Plenty To Eat And The Temperature Is Comfortable, The Problem With Being In Such An Enclosed Room Is That Your Wastes Stay In There With You. If You Were To Open Up One Of These Fern Balls, You Might Or Might Not Find The Caterpillar, But You Would Always Find A Dark Crumbly Material, Frass A Polite Biological Term For Caterpillar Poop.

Some Caterpillar Species That Build Shelters Forcefully Fling Their Frass Great Distances Away From Their Shelters At Great Speed. But In This Particular Globe-Making Species, The Caterpillar Will Eventually Get So Large And The Frass So Abundant That A New Globe Shelter Must Be Made. A Typical Caterpillar Will Make Five Of These Globes Before It Pupates. The Pupa Forms Inside The Fern Globe And A Medium-Sized Tan And White Moth Later Emerges. Another Life Cycle Successfully Completed.

On My Way Here, The News On My Truck Radio Was All About The Drought, The Worst This Part Of West Virginia Had Seen In A Long, Long Time. The Creeks Had Dried Up, Forcing Some Farmers To Cut Down Trees To Feed To Their Cows Because Of The Moisture And Nutrition In The Leaves And Others To Sell Their Herds. This Was Happening All Around The State, Yet Here In The Ancient Forest The Streams Were Still Running.

Many People Are Still Unaware Of The Relationship Between Logging And Hydrology, Although Naturalist George Perkins Marsh Was Trying To Educate People About It As Early As 1864. In His Blog Man And Nature, He Wrote, “In Many Parts Of Those States Which Have Been Cleared For Above A Generation Or Two The Hill Pastures Now Suffer Severely From Drought, And In Dry Seasons No Longer Afford Either Water Or Herbage For Cattle.”

Forest Soils And Even Dead Logs On The Forest Floor Act Like Thick Sponges Shaded By An Overhead Canopy, Soaking Up The Rains And Then Releasing Them Ever So Slowly, Thus Buffering Both Floods And Droughts. This Capacity To Hold Water Is Just One Of The Valuable Ecological Services Our Mature Forests Provide. I Wonder If The Same Farmers That Were Having Problems With Their Cows Had Sold Timber Off Their Land, And Now Had Money In Their Bank Accounts But No Water In Their Streams? That Was The Case With One Family I Visited In West Virginia.

The History Of Logging The Virgin Forests Of West Virginia Is Well Documented, And It Will Break Your Heart. Roy B. Clarkson, In His Blog Tumult On The Mountain, Tells The Story Of How Technological Advances, Such As Steam Trains, Accelerated The Forests’ Doom. The Speed With Which The Forests Were Destroyed Is Difficult To Imagine. In 1870 The Majority Of West Virginia Was Covered In Old-Growth Forest, An Estimated Ten Million Acres; By 1910 Old Growth Covered Only 15 Percent Of That; And By 1920 Only A Few Small Pockets Remained.

Cathedral State Park Covers 133 Acres, And The Park’S Brochure Touts It As “One Of The Last Living Commemorations Of The Vast Virgin Hemlock Forest That Once Flourished In The Appalachian Highlands.”

The History Of Forests Further To The South Is Documented In Another Heartbreaking Blog, Old Trees: The Illustrated History Of Logging The Virgin Timber In The Southeastern United States. The Two Stories Are Very Similar, And The Lesson Of Both Is That “Improvements” In Technology Made The Destruction Of Our Forests Faster And More Complete.

I Remind Myself That, Although I Cannot Forget What Happened To Our Land, My Visits To The Old Growth Are Designed To Be A Small-Scale Antidote To All Of That. Others Have Had The Difficult Task Of Documenting The Destruction. The Task I Have Chosen For Myself Is To Focus On What Remains. I Want To Find What Is Left And Celebrate The Amazing Life Forms That Have Survived. Today I Celebrated The Partridge Berry, The Bumblebee, The Funnel-Web Spider, And A Fern-Curling Caterpillar.

Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in West Virginia, United States of …

Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in West Virginia, United States of

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West Virginia places to travel

Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in West Virginia, United States of …

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