Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lopez Island Madrone and Midden Soil

Madrone on Lopez Island

Madrone trees are a favorite shoreline bluff tree along the bluffs of the Salish Sea. They certainly can grow elsewhere, but like the edge of bluffs where the soil gets dry in the summer. I have noted a relationship between some of the larger madrones and the soil in which they growing. When I first saw the majestic madrone above, I suspected that it might be growing out of midden - waste material deposited by past human inhabitants. Of course I was a bit predisposed to think this because of the overall setting.

Madrone and low shoreline bluff

Closer view of soil at top of bluff
Filled with organic material and shells

This certainly not the first time I have seen this relationship in the San Juan Islands crescent-beach-orcas-island-madrones. I often remind myself that people have been living longer in what is now Washington State than in my tribal homeland (Ireland). 14,000 years or longer of human occupation has impacts to ecosystems and to soil.  


Anonymous said...

"Midden" not "Miden".

Dan McShane said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you! Love your blog. Great info!