Constant Flux

A third peculiarity about the forest is that it exhibits a dynamic beauty. A Beethoven symphony or a poem of Shelley, a landscape by Corot or a Gothic cathedral, once it is finished becomes virtually static. But the wilderness is in constant flux. A seed germinates, and a stunted seedling battles for decades against the dense shade of the virgin forest. Then some ancient tree blows down and the long-suppressed plant suddenly enters into the full vigor of delayed youth, grows rapidly from sapling to maturity, declines into the conky senility of many centuries, dropping millions of seeds to start a new forest upon the rotting debris of its own ancestors, and eventually topples over to admit the sunlight which ripens another woodland generation.

Bob Marshall (Founder of The Wilderness Society)

5 thoughts on “Constant Flux”

  1. Tony, that is Southern Mountain Cranberry (Vaccinium erythrocarpum). I found that near the summit of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of South Dakota. Technically it is in the Black Mountains, a range in the Southern Appalachians. All of the peaks and ranges here sorta run together, and at times it is difficult to tell one mountain or range from another. The fruit is delicious!

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    1. Hi Cathy, it might even be impossible to find a Southern Mountain Cranberry locally. I have never run across one. I have found American Cranberry Bush, but that is a Viburnum species. If you ever find the former, please let me know . . .

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      1. Will do. Jeff Seitz of Appalachian Creek Landscape thought he had one from his wholesaler, but it was a viburnum, not a vaccinium. I will continue looking and will tell you if I do find one.

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