Last weekend my husband and I went for a walk through an old growth forest. This particular portion of land had been set aside by the family of farmers who owned it because they wanted to preserve the large trees. Some of the trees in the forest were saplings when the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, which would make them over 400 years old. The trees on the forest floor, fallen over from storm damage or dead-fall, were very large.
There were lots of interesting things, like these colorful lichen (click on any of the pictures to see them larger):
Here is a tall tree, taken with the panorama mode on my iPhone:
Here is a picture of the same tree, taken from the top down, instead of from the bottom up, like the previous photo:
Here is one of the fallen trees, covered with moss, which shows that when the canopy is in leaf, not much light makes it to the floor (be sure to click on this one):
The previous picture, and the one below, were both taken in panorama mode with my iPhone. Although the boardwalk pathway was straight, the effect in panorama mode makes it look like it comes to a 'V' where I'm standing to take the picture:
Some moss on an old log swimming in a vernal pool:
Here are some interesting roots:
A large fallen tree in a vernal pool, salamanders will lay their eggs in these vernal pools (click to see larger):
Walking through this old growth forest was different from walking through other forests. There isn't much in the way of underbrush because not much light makes it through the canopy, and there are many more large trees. It was a pleasure to see it, but a little sad that at only 200 acres, Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve is one of the largest old growth forests in Ohio.