A Glimpse into the Fascinating World of Cedar Glades

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Show notes:

Glades are ecosystems where the soils are really shallow and rocky, often with patches of rock showing on the surface. They can be found all over the world, including multiple states within the eastern U.S. These ecosystems are unique areas that support some really interesting and sometimes highly specialized or rare organisms.

Admittedly, they can also be frustrating for homeowners who may have one in their yard and be trying to force it to conform to the standards of a “normal” yard because they think something is wrong with it. However, sometimes all it takes is discovering that there isn’t anything wrong with that area, but instead it is something special and can be celebrated for its own uniqueness.

In this episode of the Backyard Ecology podcast, we are talking with Dr. Kim Cleary Sadler. Kim is a professor of biology education at Middle Tennessee State University and co-director of the Center for Cedar Glade Studies.

Glades are classified by the type of rock that is found there. So, you can have limestone glades, chert glades, sandstone glades, shale glades, etc. Much of Kim and my conversation focuses on limestone glades, or what in some areas are more commonly known as cedar glades. However, we also touch on a few other types of glades and the basic concepts that we talk about can be applied to pretty much any type of glade.

In this episode, Kim and I discuss some of the characteristics of glades, some of the different types of organisms you can find there, ways homeowners can deal with glades on their properties, and much more. We also share numerous stories related to our experiences with glades.


Episode image:

  • Couchville Cedar Glade in spring
  • Photo credit: Darel Hess, all rights reserved

Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at www.backyardecology.net.

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