Appalachian Balds

I have referred to balds a few times so thought I should explain what it is.

It’s quite common in the southern Appalachian – we have been over 5 so far. It’s basically mountain tops where you would expect trees (as around it everything is covered in trees) but covered only in grass or sometimes some shrubs.

It is lovely to walk over (once you get to the top) because it is typically high and without the trees around you the views are spectacular. It can be very windy though. On the second one we walked across the wind just whipped me and my backpack (a combined weight of around 80kg) sideways as if I was a flapping plastic bag.

It apparently forms because the temperatures are (even at that high elevation) too warm to support a long enough growth season for trees to grow. That part I don’t really understand – it must be some micro effect that cause these higher mountain tops to be warmer than some of the surrounding lower tops, and it certainly doesn’t “feel” warmer .

Posted this a day late as we had no reception yesterday. It was a tough day as it rained all the time and we just plodded along in the rain.


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