17 November 2010

Wild and Wonderful Wednesday

Well, at the rate I've been able to edit photos before falling asleep or attending to work obligations, it is still going to be a while before I get the entire backlog of West Virginia images up as a single slideshow.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share some more finished images from one of my favorite locations.

Dolly Sods is a unique and beautiful area, with a fascinating ecology, geology, and human history.  Partially due to human disturbance through logging and fires, the top of this mountain ridge has become predominantly subalpine heathland that harbors many species usually found father north.  I could go on for pages about the fascinating natural and human history of "The Sods", but for now I'll just give you one of my favorite facts.  Dolly Sods is part of the Allegheny Front which forms the Eastern Continental Divide.  Water draining off the east side of this ridge flows into the South Branch of the Potomac River and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Chesapeake Bay.  Water draining off the west side of this ridge makes its way into Red Creek and eventually through a chain of rivers, including the Monongahela, Ohio, and Mississippi, finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico.  So when one of the frequent rainstorms rolls over the Dolly Sods area, depending on where those raindrops fall, they may end up in the Atlantic Ocean or they may end up in the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the unique features of the Bear Rocks Preserve, a Nature Conservancy property at the end of the Dolly Sods Scenic Area, is the weathered sandstone and white quartz boulders which lie along the eastern cliffs.  Through a combination of chemical and physical weathering, including frost wedging, these boulders have been carved into fantastic shapes.  Often the boulders are also pockmarked with gnamma of various sizes and shapes.  The two images shown here, taken in June of 2009, show some of this fascinating geology.  Be sure to click on the images to see a larger version and read more about each image.  Enjoy and look for more West Virginia images coming soon.


  1. Interesting post! Love that second photograph!!

  2. Gorgeous images and great educational info. I spent my first 18 years of life in WV and my parents still live there.

  3. They look like gargoyles in that first picture. I would love to visit that area.