14 responses to “Blue Ridge Parkway”

  1. Ronaldo Araújo


  2. Bruce Boone

    Daniel, is just like to express my appreciation for the site you’ve created and maintained for how many years now? I’m only a very recent newcomers but I’m amazed at the quality, variety, and fabulous occasional exoticism of species, the latter of which delight me as a, well, literary person, by their demonstration of how nature or, ok, randomness, has in it some principle that loves to combine what appears as a demonstration that beauty and evil belong together, “naturally,” perhaps a la Baudelaire.

    Thanks tons Daniel, I adore your work, it’s edification not merely in the fields of taxonomy but, as a crude American envying my more sophisticated Canadian syblings, the sense of verve and style branching out continually (nihil mihi inhumanum est, I guess) to appreciations of land use economy, plant toxicity and/or medicinal values, biotany beginner’s science lessons that I as an ignoramus particularly value etc. and all with that great apparently naive politesse, consideration, temperateness of view point that is or seems to be a particularly, Canadian thing and th I know I myself at least if not many of my fellow American citizens could, with perhaps a bit of humility, could learn from. Thank you Daniel. I am very grateful for and do much appreciate the wonders and lessons of you fab poetic instructional and ar times perhaps even, dare I say, metaphysical work?! Big applause, hats off, from this particular Bozo on the bus who as it turns out just happens to be a yankee American admiring you from far off San Francisco. Hey! You go, Daniel!! You go.

  3. Mike Bush

    And when looking at the Southern Applachians, please remember that the American Chestnut is completely ABSENT. It was a dominant member of the canopy in many areas before the accidental introduction of the Chestnut Blight from Japan sometime prior to 1904, when it was found at NY Botanical Garden. By the 1940’s naturally occuring trees were gone.

    From Wikipedia:
    It is estimated that in some places, such as the Appalachian Mountains, one in every four hardwoods was an American chestnut. Mature trees often grew straight and branch-free for 50 feet and could grow up to 100 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 14 feet at a few feet above ground level. For three centuries many barns and homes near the Appalachian Mountains were made from American chestnut.[17]

    For the people of the southern Appalachians, the American Chestnut was economically important. The reddish-brown wood was lightweight, soft, easy to split, very resistant to decay; and it did not warp or shrink. Because of its resistance to decay, industries sprang up throughout the region to use wood from the American Chestnut for posts, poles, piling, railroad ties, and split-rail fences.[18] Its straight-grained wood was ideal for building log cabins, furniture, and caskets. The fruit that fell to the ground was an important cash crop. Families raked up chestnuts by the bushels and took wagon loads of them to sell in nearby towns. The people even cooked the chestnuts for their own use. The bark and wood were rich in tannic acid which provided tannins for use in the tanning of leather.[19] Many native animals fed on chestnuts, and chestnuts were used for livestock feed, which kept the cost of raising livestock from being prohibitive.[20]

  4. PAT

    Ho my God who knew about the American Chestnut. Learned something new.How many types of fungus, insects,
    birds and wild life disappeared with the trees does anyone know?

  5. Danae Yurgel

    The UBC Botanic Gardens continue to work their way up my wish list of places to see 🙂

  6. Therese Romer

    Beautiful photo, and a great posting — thanks Daniel !
    Plus splendid comments I subscribe to.
    Hats off to the UBC Bot Gard, all along.

  7. naomi d.

    My grandfather told me of a chestnut in the North Georgia mountains he wanted to fell for its wood but it was placed too inconveniently (different time and sensibility, he was born in 1889, died in 1991). I do remember walking along a creek up there one summer, following what I thought was the trunk of a large pine tree, with a circumference of about four to five feet, wanting to find its stump. When I came to the end I found the trunk but it wasn’t of this “tree” – I had been following one of its branches. All that was left was a huge jagged base where a bear must have made a winter home. My mom found tiny brown orchids up there, the flower only half an inch or so. Thanks for bringing those memories up.

  8. Roberta

    Yes, I’ve heard the sad story of the chestnuts, but there must be some growing somewhere because I see them in the supermarkets at Christmas time: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” I also remember street vendors selling them in Toronto in the late 1950’s.

    1. Mercy C.

      Roberta, those are European chestnuts in the supermarket–different species. Pigeons abound in our cities, but the passenger pigeon is still extinct.

  9. Suzanne Vargas

    We ALL love your work, Daniel!

  10. Jessica

    Yes, love, love, love you and your dedication and talent to share all these lovely photos and information with us, Daniel.

    I especially appreciate the subtle tones of the trees and shrubs juxtaposed with the arches of flowers starting to burst forth, in this photo.

    It brought back some fond memories of car-trips though the Smokey Mountain area, along the Skyway, with my parents, when I was a kid. If we took a vacation car ride, my dad always liked to take the “back roads” and just meander. That was the BEST! It was a wonderful way to see our beautiful land.

    This photo really captures the feeling of Winter loosening its hold and Spring racing up the trunks, branches and stems of the trees and exploding into starry blooms.

    Thanks so much.

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