I spent a couple of days this week at Noel & Patrick's place near Sapphire, NC. Their 150 acre property will be placed in a conservation easement next week. Their intent is that this beautiful place, with springs, creeks, pond and waterfalls will be preserved in perpetuity. Patrick is actively working with the woolly adelgid problem to save the hemlocks and the trees on their property serve as a testament to the effectiveness of the Sassy beetle (Sasajiscymnus tsugae). This hemlock, near one of the waterfalls, was on decline. This is the tree this December, on its way back to full health, HWA in control!
Patrick has made quite an impact in Western NC over the past two years as he's tackled the problem, developing a protocol for release that is exceptionally effective and sharing all he knows with public and private individuals and institutions. Patrick is also working hard to refine a photographic crown density measurement process that should give a very graphic example of the results. With his research and statistical knowledge all of his work will play a major role in saving the hemlocks.
Thursday morning we walked to a recently added 9 acres. Below their waterfall, this property has wonderful outcroppings of rock. These are densely covered in mosses, fungi and ferns of all
kinds. The laurel is dense but they've recently hired a few young, sturdy men to clear along the survey line, making for a walking path that isn't hard to navigate.
I took many photographs--most of details of tree trunks and tree crowns since I'm still investigating the design for the next tapestry.