Like many other locations in today’s USFS lands, this area was used to harvest timber. The flat area in front of you was used as a loading dock for timber removal. Beyond this site, old logging roads crisscross the hillsides, providing a glimpse of the activity that took place here.
Today, various mammals use the old roadways as travel corridors. They also provide grassy habitat for insects and birds. This area is an excellent example of the landscape healing after being misused by humans.
Inspect the stately longleaf atop this ridge, and you will see evidence of a lightning strike. Lightning is a traditional cause of fire in this longleaf ecosystem. The tree will eventually die and become a snag, or a standing dead tree. Decomposers such as termites will ensure that this snag becomes suitable habitat for animals searching for shelter. It also invites cavity-excavators such as Red-headed, Red-bellied, and Downy woodpeckers to make their homes here.
Birds You May See in the Area:
Year-round: Cooper’s Hawks, White-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Warblers, and Eastern Towhees.
Summer: Eastern Wood-Pewees, Yellow-throated and Red-eyed vireos, Black-and-white Warblers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Yellow-throated Warblers.
Winter: Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned kinglets, Palm and Yellow-rumped warblers, and Song Sparrows.
Make your way back to the entrance of 745A and take the historic tree hike or continue your journey along FS 745 0.46 miles to the next interpretive site on your left.