2006 Slide Show, Photo 12

A thicket. Sometimes you want to go off trail to find some berries or inspect a patch of wild flowers or to get a wider view. And often as not you wind up working your butt off scratching your way through thickets like this one, on Inner Hill Island on Rock Harbor. The forests of Isle Royale are often daunting, mostly because of downed trees. The reason there are so many downed trees: the soil is thin, the trees don't put down deep roots, the island is exposed to heavy winds off Lake Superior, and, as consequence of these conditions, many trees, large and small, get blown down before their time and wind up creating difficult tangles in the woods.

1 comment:

Ben Kilpela said...

I remember one time, more than a decade ago, I decided to pull my canoe up along Merritt Lane to take a hike up the ridge toward the Palisades on the far side of bthe Greenstone. On this ridge in this area there were so many large (one- to three-foot-thick) blown-down birches, aspens, and spruces (with their scratchy bark) that I started going a little nutty and very sweaty trying to climb my way over and under them to make any progress up the ridge. I soon gave up and returned to the placid waters of Merritt Lane, happy to continue canoeing instead. A lesson learned.