My Favorite Local Wild Areas in Spring

Photo: Carex jamesii on the floodplain slope. See the Common Hackberry trunk? This has been an exceptionally brilliant spring. With cool temperature and frequent rains, our native early Carex species and ephemerals bloomed profusely. One of my favorite sites of spring is this floodplain forest near Manassas. The forest is known for calcareous and mafic rocks, and the slopes on the above photo host many attractive native plants. On top, Witch Hazel and Maple-Leaf viburnum dominate the forest. Closer to the ground, Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium pallidum). What really interests me is the kind of vegetation on the slope. The slope is sparsely vegetated, almost always moist with thin moss visible

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Banner: Late October in a mixed stand of hickories, oaks, and American beech at Fountainhead Regional Park, on the northern shore of the Occoquan River, in Fairfax County, Virginia. Photo by Chris Bright. 

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