Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
Clifton Forge, Virginia

We've always told students that the spruce forest in the Laurel Fork area of Highland County was a remnant of the northwoods that remained after the end of the last Ice Age (about 12,000 years ago). Well, here's an interesting comparison. The first picture was taken at Laurel Fork on June 20, 2001. The second picture was taken at Rancheria Falls in Yukon Territory on July 11, 2001. The Yukon spruce is more stressed by climate, and you have to ignore the mountains in the background, but the forest is remarkably similar--right down to the beaver ponds.

Unfortunately, by 2008, the beaver ponds have drained and are now just a wet spot.

From left-to-right: Laurel Fork beaver ponds, June 2001; Yukon beaver pond, July 2001; Laurel Fork beaver "meadow", June 2011.

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