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Gifford Woods State Park, 34 Gifford Woods, Killington, Vt.

 

It’s not easy nowadays to find an open stretch of land untapped by humans in some fashion, even the rolling Appalachians of New England were once completely shaven for the lumber industry in early America. One thing you will find, however, is that nature has the fascinating ability to recover itself in the long run. Even if given bare rock and air you can find, that after thousands of years, the most complex and amazingly colorful ecosystems forming, and with every cycle, every life, every death,  the ecosystem evolves, changes, ever so slightly.  Most of this really hit me one time when I was hiking on a trail close to Rutland, Vermont going up a shallow-incline mountain [to which I can’t place a name]. My father and I were talking about how the forest used to be when he was young as me. He talked about how the trees that he had seen when he was my age seemed just a little smaller than they were that day we went up to Vermont. He talked about how in the 1800s almost the entire range of the Appalachian mountains, apart from a handful of old growth trees in secluded areas, was torn down for lumber. Looking around, I found it fascinating that after such a thing, so much nature, so many living things could survive out of such decimation. It shows plainly the strength of nature itself. Millions of years have adapted organisms to suit the sometimes hostile environment of the world, and the not-so-old trees I saw that ay demonstrated that perfectly. Each bird, carrying seeds from miles around, aids in the survival of the forest. Each little worm in the soil leaving in its wake healthy, usable soil. This correlation between the hundreds of different organisms in the universe is an almost flawless system, an extensive masterpiece, a work of art that has taken hundreds and millions of years to create, and is still not nearly finished. 

Presentation~
Deven McKee 

Video provided by~
mms://video.wr.usgs.gov/movies/the_southern_appalachians.wmv

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