Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia --------

If there is one area that surprised Joan and me with its beauty much more than we expected during our trip in West Virginia, it is the Dolly Sods Wilderness, short Dolly Sods, . Let me quote from a sign that we found up on the plateau. Dolly Sods is a broad plateau atop the Allegheny Front. The area around Bear Rocks supports subalpine heathlands dominated by shrubs such as blueberries, huckleberries, mountain laurel, azalea, and rhododendron. The site is marked by groves of stunted red spruce, flagged by ice and wind, outcrops of sandstone, grassy meadows, and cranberry bogs also occur.

This beautiful plateau is actually one of the most abused pieces of land in history, logging and being a practice artillery and mortar range and maneuver area before troops were sent to Europe to fight in World War II, took their toll. Recovery came mostly by the activities of the Nature Conservancy, who played a major role in preserving the area. If you are interested in reading all the facts, please click the link to Wikipedia’s site:

What makes the Dolly Sods so interesting is that the flora creates impressions of areas much farther north. Many plant communities are indeed similar to those of sea-level eastern Canada. Many species found here are near their southernmost range. For example, the Snowshoe Hare found in Dolly Sods is usually found in Canada and Alaska.

I know I haven’t exploited all the possibilities this area offers to a photographer. Time was simply too short. Reason to come back sometime...