Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And Sometimes They Just Fall Down.

Some trees live a very long time, but eventually they all die. Hurricane Hugo knocked down some champion trees in Congaree, and sometimes gravity and disease is all it takes. Along one of the trails we came to this huge oak that had fallen--probably just before autumn, since it still had leaves clinging to the branches, which indicates that it suffered the catastrophe when they were still green.

The downed giant. It had fallen across a creek and will, for the time, serve as a bridge.

It was sobering to see such a huge tree lying on the forest floor.

Here was our guide for the hike: Marcas Houtchings. He's a former employee of Congaree National Park, and now works for the City of Columbia Parks. He knew exactly where all of the big trees were located and how to get us there.

Toward the end of the hike, we used another downed tree to cross a gut, saving ourselves a little trail walking.

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