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Bald?

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  • Larry Wallace
    Wayah Bald, NC, Gregory Bald What does bald mean in this case? Usually it means white or white head i.e. bald eagle, pied/piebald, skewed/skewbald. Sent
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2005
      Wayah Bald, NC,
      Gregory Bald
      What does 'bald' mean in this case? Usually it means 'white'
      or 'white head' i.e. bald eagle, pied/piebald, skewed/skewbald.

      Sent by Medscape Mail: Free Portable E-mail for Professionals on the Move
      http://www.medscape.com
    • iltkyao
      LARRY The Mystery of Balds and Boulderfields Boulderfields, too, are most unusual natural places. They consist of many acres of jumbled boulders, mostly
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 31, 2005
        LARRY

        The Mystery of Balds and Boulderfields
        Boulderfields, too, are most unusual natural places. They consist of
        many acres of jumbled boulders, mostly moss-covered and with a rich
        assemblage of wildflowers in late spring and early summer under such
        mid-altitude trees as yellowwood (Cladrastris kentukea), American
        basswood, and yellow birch. Currants and gooseberries are common
        shrubs found in these areas. Usually boulderfields occur above 3,200
        feet elevation, and they almost always are found in steep, north-
        facing coves. Although it is not known exactly how they formed,
        boulders undoubtedly were created from bedrock during the last ice
        age, approximately 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Even though the
        northern glaciers never reached the southern Appalachians, it is
        believed that the freezing and thawing and resulting fracturing and
        uplifting of bedrock during the ice age were primarily responsible
        for producing the boulderfields.

        The most mysterious habitats in the southern Appalachians, though,
        are those known as balds. Balds are defined as high-altitude open
        areas devoid of trees, occurring as either shrub-dominated areas or
        tundralike grasslands at or near the summits of our highest
        mountains at the edges of Canadian-zone spruce-fir forests. Shrub
        balds, which usually consist of nearly impenetrable rhododendrons
        (Rhododrendron maximum or R. carolinianum at lower elevations and R.
        catawbiense at higher elevations) and mountain laurel (Kalmia
        latifolia), are sometimes known as heath balds, referring to the
        family of plants to which these shrubs belong. The grass balds
        appear to be grasslands overall with a few clumps of shrubs or
        stunted trees such as mountain-ash (Sorbus americana) and willows
        (Salix spp.).

        No one seems to know how balds were formed or why they persist. Most
        natural areas evolve their vegetational composition over time, a
        process called succession, leading to the ultimate climax community,
        which would theoretically persist for a long time. At lower
        elevations in the southern Appalachians, the climax forest would be
        cove, oak-hickory, or pine forest; at the top of Mount Mitchell, the
        climax forest is spruce-fir. Yet, on many of the Appalachians'
        higher peaks are these open, heathlike or grassy bald areas that
        have not been invaded by the surrounding forest species and have
        apparently persisted in this state for thousands of years.

        Although ecologists have offered many theories for the persistence
        of balds, no one theory has been universally accepted. Some
        speculate they could be the result of intermittent fire caused by
        lightning. Historically, early settlers used balds for grazing cows
        and sheep, an activity that limited plant succession. Native
        Americans may have done the same for their domesticated stock.
        Balds, however, still exist, and probably have not changed
        significantly for at least hundreds of years.


        Wayah Bald= Cherokee word for "wolf" - due to prepadrance of red
        wolves before us white guys showed-up.

        Tadeusz -Illinois -sun is shining and in the 30's.


        --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Wallace" <Larry.Wallace@m...>
        wrote:
        > Wayah Bald, NC,
        > Gregory Bald
        > What does 'bald' mean in this case? Usually it means 'white'
        > or 'white head' i.e. bald eagle, pied/piebald, skewed/skewbald.
        >
        >
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