Ouachita: That’s easy for you to say!

Pronounced Wah-shi-tah

I spent a few weeks in Mena, Arkansas, doing stand exams. My Mom tells me that her father used to come here, from the Quad Cities, to do his hunting thing. At one time, he was considering moving his family to Arkansas. (I wonder if the fact that Mena is in a “dry” county had any influence on my Scotch-Irish grandpa) You can see that these forests are thick. While I still remembered a lot of my Dendro class, the rest of my co-workers didn’t all know their southern species. Amazingly enough, the poison ivy didn’t bother me, despite wandering through the knee-high growth. I’m very reactive to poison oak, in the west.

I spied this odd shortleaf pine, and immediately called it the Medusa Tree.

One Comment

  1. Lots of stands on the Ouachita look like this, but a lot are considerably more open thanks to the Forest’s active program of thinning and burning to restore the kind of conditions that prevailed 100+ years ago. As I have mentioned before, the Ouachita sells more timber volume and restores more wildlife habitat through thinning and burning than most national forests in the country. Most enviros, sportsmen and even the timber industry supports these projects so there are few appeals or lawsuits.

    There’s also more poison ivy there than most places I’ve lived. I once found myself with a swollen tongue and mouth from breathing smoke while fighting a wildfire near Mount Ida two days before Christmas (in a dry county!)

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