Figure 1- Meadow Plot from the trail
Within my three visits, I documented eight species of plants within the plot. Specifically, I found: Red Maple, Wild Raspberry, Virginia Creeper, Hayscented Fern, White Avens, Interrupted Fern, Fringed-Black Bindweed and Steeplebush (all of which, may be seen in the slideshow above).
The Meadow plot is located just past the sign that marks the junction between the meadow slope and the tower trail. It is oriented at a bearing of S 46 W degrees from the vast trail. It's about 75% exposed to sunlight, with some of the large bordering trees shading the north western edge of the plot. The plot is 100% covered with floral groundcover, with little to no exposed "bare" soil. Approximately 25% of the cover is due to Red Maple growth, and 75% of the groundcover is composed of fern and small shrub growth, (refer to Figure 1).
Figure 2- Soil pit analysis
In this plot, I found four representative soil horizons within my 18 inch soil pit. The first horizon was a 1/2 inch deep leaf litter layer, followed by a second 7 inch deep light-colored layer interspersed with a layer of fist-sized rocks, followed by a third 10 1/2 inch deep muddy layer before I hit a large bedrock shelf (refer to Figure 2).
The first level (leaf litter) tested at a pH of 5.5, which can be interpreted as an "acid environment." The second level (interspersed with rocks) tested at a pH of 6.0, which also translated into an "acid environment." The last layer (dark and muddy) tested at a pH of 6.5, which translated into a slight acid environment.