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milkweed

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Kaydubsthehikingscientist avatar @Kaydubsthehikingscientist · 7M
Welcome to #Appalachia. It’s my favorite place in the whole world as it is filled with wild and wonderful things at every turn. I have been wandering these ancient forests for most of my life as a professional #naturalist and almost every day I encounter something new. The #AppalachianMountains are considered a #biodiversity hotspot globally for aquatic species, such as mussels, fish and crayfish and don’t even get me started about the tree, #mushroom and salamander diversity we have here. Habitats in Appalachia range from #ancient rivers where #hellbenders lurk and bald eagles soar, wetlands that are teeming with insect and amphibian life, to mountain tops with rare species that thrive in unique locations, like these white quarter sized snow #trilliums Every spring the flood plain forests of Appalachia welcome a carpet of spring ephemeral flowers which look just like a painting by Claude Monet. Mushroom bouquets emerge every summer with colors you didn’t even know existed in such vibrance. The dappled sun flecks that make it through the dense deciduous canopy of the Appalachian #forest highlight beautiful botanical treasures like black cohosh and poke #milkweed. Other plants that are more adapted to full sun create a blaze of color in the meadows of forest gaps such as this orange butterfly weed. The Appalachian forests are full of life and wonder and I hope this post inspires you to plan a visit so you can experience their magic yourself.