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Francis Marion National Forest

2010年03月27日 10:32

今回の旅先は South Carolina の海岸地方にあるFrancis Marion National Forests です。
カロライナの海岸地方には所々特異な地質と植物群落が形成されていて
興味深い動植物が見つけられます。
今回訪ねたFrancis Marion National Forestは広いエリアに変化に富んだ景観があり様々な楽しみ方ができます。
私が最初にここに引かれた理由はサヴァンナの夏のオーキッド類でした。
先ずはヴィジターセンターに行ってみて情報収集しないと様子が見えてこないとシーズン前の訪問になりました。
ついでにおもしろそうなブラックウォータの動植物も観察しましょうということです。

Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center. ではナショナルフォレスト内の詳しい道路地図や
大学で講義をされている植物学者による植物の観察会の情報を手に入れることができました。


地元のアウトフィッターに Wambaw Creek Canoe Trail でのカヤックトリップを頼んでおいたので
ナショナルフォレストのボートランチでガイドと待ち合わせしました。
久しぶりのカヤッキングは気持ちよかったです。
水面間近でなめらかに動いていく感じは手こぎのカヌーやカヤックならではのもの。

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木々の新芽は様々な色で水面に映り込んでいます。
特に目立つのはレッドメープルの花と種の赤でした。

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この森で主勢となっている木は Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) と Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) です。
両木とも大木になるほど基部が広がった特徴のある樹形になります。
Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)は植物公園などで植えられていることもあって
前からおもしろく眺めていました。
一度この Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) が成長している森を見てみたいと思っていました。
陸上の動物はさすが出てきませんが
アリゲーターや亀たちは時々倒木に上がって休んでいるのが眺められます。

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カヤックツアーのあとガイドさんに聞いた海岸に面したSantee Coastal Reserveにも行ってみました。




Virginia live oak (Quercus virginiana)

Depending on the growing conditions, live oaks vary from the shrubby to large and spreading: typical open-grown trees reach 15 meters (50 feet) in height, but may span nearly 50 meters. Their lower limbs often sweep down towards the ground before curving up again. They can grow at severe angles, and Native Americans used to bend saplings over so that they would grow at extreme angles, to serve as trail markers. They drop their leaves, and grow new ones, within a few weeks in spring. The bark is furrowed longitudinally, and the acorns are small, but long and tapered. The branches frequently support other plant species such as rounded clumps of ball moss, thick drapings of Spanish moss, Resurrection fern, and parasitic mistletoe.

Southern live oak can grow in moist to dry sites. They can withstand occasional floods and hurricanes, and are resistant to salt spray and moderate soil salinity. They tend to survive fire, because often a fire will not reach their crowns. Even if a tree is burned, its crowns and roots usually survive the fire and sprout vigorously. Furthermore live oak forests discourage entry of fire from adjacent communities because they provide dense cover that discourages the growth of a flammable understory. Although they grow best in well-drained sandy soils and loams, they will also grow in clay. Live oaks are also surprisingly hardy. Those of southern provenance can easily be grown in USDA zone 7 and the Texas Live Oak (Quercus virginiana var. fusiformis), having the same evergreen foliage as the Southern variety, can be grown with success in areas as cold as zone 6. Even with significant winter leaf burn, these trees can make a strong comeback during the growing season in more northerly areas such New Jersey, southern Ohio, and southern Connecticut.
Angel Oak of Johns Island, South Carolina. Angel Oak is estimated at 1400 years of age. The person by the tree is 160 centimeters (63 inches) tall.

Among the animals for which live oak acorns are an important food source are the bobwhite quail, the threatened Florida scrub jay, the wood duck, yellow-bellied sapsucker, wild turkey, black bear, various species of squirrel, and the white-tailed deer. Native Americans extracted an oil from the acorns. The tree crown is very dense, making it valuable for shade, and the species provides nest sites for many other species.

Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica)

Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), also called cottongum, sourgum, tupelo-gum, and water-gum, is a large, long-lived tupelo tree that grows in swamps and floodplains of the Eastern United States. It has a swollen base that tapers to a long, clear bole and its root system is periodically under water. Water Tupelo often occurs in pure stands. A good mature tree will produce commercial timber used for furniture and crates. Many kinds of wildlife eat the fruits and it is a favored honey tree.

The swollen base of the Water Tupelo is the source of a favored wood of wood carvers.

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum )

It is a large tree, reaching 25–40 m (rarely to 44 m) tall and a trunk diameter of 2–3 m, rarely to 5 m. The bark is gray-brown to red-brown, shallowly vertically fissured, with a stringy texture. The leaves are borne on deciduous branchlets that are spirally arranged on the stem but twisted at the base to lie in two horizontal ranks, 1-2 cm long and 1-2 mm broad; unlike most other species in the family Cupressaceae, it is deciduous, losing the leaves in the winter months, hence the name 'bald'. It is monoecious. Male and female strobili mature in about 12 months; they are produced from buds formed in the late fall, with pollination in early winter. The seed cones are green maturing gray-brown, globular, 2-3.5 cm in diameter. They have from 20–30 spirally arranged four-sided scales, each bearing one or two (rarely three) trianglular seeds. The number of seeds per cone ranges from 20–40. The cones disintegrate when mature to release the large seeds. The seeds are 5-10 mm long, the largest of any species in the cypress family, and are produced every year but with heavy crops every three to five years. The seedlings have 3–9 (most often 6) cotyledons.[2]

The main trunks are surrounded by cypress knees .

The largest known individual specimen is "The Senator", near Longwood, Florida: it is 35 m tall, and with a trunk diameter of 344 cm and an estimated volume of 119.4 m³. The tallest known, near Williamsburg, Virginia, is 44 m tall, and stoutest the known, in the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, has 521 cm diameter.[4]

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    アップル

    Author:アップル
    4年間近く続けてきた「ヴァージニア便り」のタイトルを
    「Nature Journal」 に変更しました。
    相変わらず野生の花を探しての旅が多いと思いますが
    今までよりも幅広い自然の写真を撮っていきたいと思っています。


    アップル的生活にはアメリカ生活、ニャー達、園芸植物、お料理の話題などを載せています。

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