One instantly notices a conifer quite unusual this far south. Red Spruce, Picea rubens, dominates and creates a taiga-like habitat that harbors many outstanding breeding bird species. Canada, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Nashville, Mourning, and Magnolia warblers, Northern Waterthrush, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch, Hermit Thrush and others are all easily found. Red Crossbills also nest in the area. And plenty of others. The Glades is a birding paradise.
As I traipsed about seeking flora and fauna, I was delighted to encounter a patch of Bog-rosemary, Andromeda glaucophylla, in full bloom. This woody shrublet stands but a foot or so tall, and typically occurs much further to the north.
The swampy woodlands are a riot of interesting plants and birds. North meets south; dominant trees include Red Spruce, Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, Yellow Birch, Betula allegheniensis, while the understory is snarled with tangles of Great Rhododendron, Rhododendron maximum. One need not look hard to find Fraser Magnolia, Magnolia fraseri, and Cucumber Magnolia, M. acuminata. Shown above are the massive leaves of False Hellebore, Veratrum viride, looking as if made of corrugated plastic. This whopper will grow to several feet tall, eventually. On the right is a tussock created by a Cinnamon Fern, Osmunda cinnamomea, an obvious fern of these woodlands.