Dolly Sods... Here are some other photos I took in the area, on the several short hikes I took on Monday. The area has changed enormously from the last time I was there (in the '60s). My overwhelming impression was of increased wealth: the area was desperately poor back then; now it looks middle-class and better, with some areas even looking like an upscale resort. Even the wild areas, including the sods (meadows) themselves have changed dramatically. A local expert told me that's because of two things: aggressive fire control (fires used to be allowed to burn themselves out) and the cessation of cattle grazing. Those two events have allowed the forests to start encroaching on the sods, to the point where 45 years later they bear scant resemblance to my memories of them. On the other hand, the azaleas and other native plants seem to be thriving.
The photos below are from a short hike in Canaan Valley State Park, another short hike near the southern end of Dolly Sods, and a longer hike along Bear Rocks trail at the northern end of Dolly Sods. That last hike had lots of azaleas, a beautiful stream, and even some big ants' nests (three photos of them below)...
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