Tuesday, September 15, 2020

MD Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area: No Calcium and a Red-Mouth

We hiked today for a few miles through Soldiers Delight Natural Area in Western Baltimore County to listen to and explore the varied habitats of a serpentine barrens. The underlying bedrock and thin soils are full of heavy metals, mineral poor, and inhospitable for most plants. The words toxic, poisonous, and rare seemed to pique my teenage grandkid's interest as I described this protected landscape.  

Serpentine bedrock and thin soils below the grasslands.

There many kinds of "barrens," and this was Kenz's first time on a serpentine barrens, an uncommonly rare ecosystem found in Maryland, quite different from her beloved and plentiful pine barrens of New Jersey. We hiked through the high grasslands and down through richer woodland along small streams. We compared the variety of plants we experienced in each place. It is mid-September and many native grasses are in bloom. Goldenrod lights up the hillsides in swaths of yellow. Virginia Pines framed the old fields and - our favorite - scraggly old Post and Blackjack Oaks, stood defiant against the harsh conditions of nutrient poor soils. 

The stark differences between the plant communities on serpentine soils and what was growing down slope in richer soils was dramatic. The difference between the two sites comes down to Calcium.  A micro-nutrient essential for plant growth, the absence of Calcium is a limiting factor for what can and can't grow in serpentine areas.  On serpentine bedrock and its weathered, thin soils, Calcium is absent while Magnesium is very high. It's a toxic environment where grasses and some very tough trees dominate. 

We encountered a Common Wood Nymph butterfly on its last legs, flopping and weak, struggling across the trail. I moved it carefully to the side and watched as it struggled to climb a blade of Purple Top Grass in a sea of Little Blue Stem, an iconic species of the Eastern Prairie. We looked hard for some of the rare butterflies as well but struck out this time. 

As we walked, I was thinking about all the different kinds of prairie that I've visited. I love them all. Grasslands are some of my favorite places to be, especially the rolling Blue Hills of Kansas and the gravel prairies of glaciated Illinois and Wisconsin. The oak-savanna of Iowa and the Appalachian balds are some of my favorite butterfly spots.   I remembered the Scrub Oak leaf that a grad school friend brought me from the high chaparral of California and wondered where I'd put it.  I found it later pressed in my Peterson's Trees of the Western U.S. still smelling of sagebrush. I found a fallen Post Oak leaf to compare it to at home. 

Little Bluestem, iconic native Eastern Shortgrass species. 

 Dense Blazing Star, an autumn-blooming grassland flower.

Purple False Foxglove

Calcium is essential to plant growth and is absorbed by roots and carried upwards through the xylem to where it is used to build cell walls, especially at the growing tips. But it cannot be stored by the plant - it must be readily available when needed in the soils where the plant grows. Serpentine is a terrible "keeper" of Calcium  and challenges plants with a superabundance of heavy metals. Kenz is just beginning sophomore year in high school and takes her first biology course this semester, so a discussion of micro-nutrients and cell growth seemed the perfect topic to mention as we walked. Hiking through Calcium deficient fields of prairie grass made a great see-for-yourself experience of adaptive and tolerant plant communities.

Down-slope forest

We looped around through Greenbriar thickets and mixed oak-pine mixed deciduous woods and made note of how trees contributed leaf litter and decaying wood to building a soil base. Here we found a variety of fall fungi and made quick forays into the woods to snap pictures of those that caught our eye. Are there fungi in the grasslands? we wondered. Are mycorrhizal networks present in serpentine soils and if so, how do plant communities utilize them? Ah, ecology, I said to Kenz, who gave me the famous teenager's shrug.  

Wrinkled Psathyrella, Psathyrella piluliformis 

Turkey Tail, Trametes versicolor

Agaricomycetes sp

This mushroom's collar has just fallen away. 

The coolest find came from the woods. The bright red, yellow-rimmed Red-Mouth Bolete (below) is a poisonous mushroom that practically screams 'Don't Eat Me!" Because we were in a protected area I didn't want to disturb anything so I explained how, when sliced open, the flesh of this big poisonous mushroom turns a crazy blue when exposed to air. Okay, that impressed the teenager. Poison! Bleeding blue! Now we're planning a search of a our local game lands woods for the Red-Mouth Bolete here in PA where we might have the opportunity to open one up. 

Red-mouth Bolete - Poisonous beauty


Friends of Soldiers Delight website offers a ton of conservation and history information. Lists of rare species can be found here.  https://soldiersdelight.org/article/soldiers-delight-barrens-preservation-of-a-rare-ecosystem/

Monday, September 7, 2020

The In-Between Season

It is late summer and with the barest of hints, the seasons begin to blend one into the other so that when I look up from treading the trail with Amos, I think I notice some small change, a falling leaf, a shift of light. I can see a little more of the scaffold of the forest. The old Dogwoods in the meadow always catch my attention when the crickets go full chorus at their loudest. These are survivors of blights and fungal attacks and so are twisted and gnarly and tough.  

Mennonite couple on a woods walk in early September.

Another week goes by and now I am sure of it - autumn is on the doorstep. Cooler nights sweep in with a cold front that seems to shove all things hot and humid out to sea. The Walnut in the bottom of the yard is simultaneously turning yellow and shedding leaves. Birds begin their southerly migrations. The Catbirds are gone. I already miss them. I'm drawn to almost daily walks on the game lands and my local state park, Susquehannock.

Bjerkandera adusta, a common bracket fungi on hardwood logs.

I was hiking with family this weekend on the C&O Canal, the next section of our end-to-end walk from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, MD. While we chatted about things happening in our lives, we stopped frequently to remark about sounds and colors. "This is becoming my favorite time," said my niece, "the in-between summer and fall."  We noticed low light by late afternoon and by five p.m.,  Barred Owls echoed through the swamps at McKee Besher Wildlife Management Area, our destination for the day.  We slowed our walk to take in the setting sun and the darkening lowland woods  

Turkey Tail, Trametes versicolor, another common autumn bracket fungi. 

The in-between time is subtle yet exciting. The PA Game Commission has turned on its popular live streaming Elk Cam up in Elk County and I bookmark it on my computer anticipating the action of the rut. As I write this post, there is a  streaming chorus of field crickets and conversational crows in a cut-cover corn field and I stop what I'm doing to take a scan of the woods edge. I go back to my writing when a deep grunt erupts from the woods and I quickly switch tabs to take a look as the camera scans the clearing. Elk? Bear? I make my annual vow to get up there and go elk watching on those amazing public lands. 

Old blazes mark a well-trodden trail at Susquehannock State Park. 

Since our treks to Hawk Mountain, I've seen a dozen Coopers Hawks shoot through the woods on my walks.  I've  heard as many Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks. At night Screech Owls whinny and Lightning Bugs flicker their very last. The last flash I noted was Thursday night. None since. Thistles, Fleabanes, and Milkweed have gone to seed.  Sunflower heads are drooping and nodding in the garden and sparkle with Goldfinches picking seeds. I filled my feeders for the first time since late spring. Before I could get to the porch,  a Red-Bellied Woodpecker and her two offspring came right away to investigate. 

Painted rock sits peacefully in a tree cricket-filled forest. 

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker was teaching her young ones to take seeds from the feeder. She was patient and tender and allowed me to stand nearby as she demonstrated how to chose a seed, crack it, and discard the shells. She chittered to them as they perfected their take-and-break method. I could hear the crackle of sunflower seeds and watched white flakes of shell drop to the grass. The scene was not the electric red and yellow of mid-October, nor the sizzle and drench of a hot humid day, but it has a tender energy that defines this in-between time of transition. 

White Wood Aster

Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica

Walking Amos in game lands over in Holtwood, I took in the big view and noted the colors and sounds of the meadows. Grasshoppers were everywhere, rasping and chewing, exploding up just as my boot touched the ground with a startling snap and clatter of wings. There are no complex algorithms or mechanized process to consider, just the shortening of days and the timed responses to shifts in the photoperiod to elicit the first elk bugle of the year, for Fleabane to burst its encapsulated seed head, and to ignite this chorus of insect song and grasshopper profusion so loud I can hardly hear a single bird call. There are no elk here, but I wish there were. I vow again to make the journey north - and soon.

Seedheads burst open, ready to catch a breeze.

The in-between is not all peace and cricket song, however.  Black bears are increasingly emboldened by the quick pickings in the orchard and farm yard. Winter is coming and they are beginning to feed heavily, greedily, on anything they can rustle up - even if it's on the front porch. It's best to bring in the bird feeders at night. Hawks leave piles of feathers where they've picked off a neo-tropical migrant near the feeder station. With each brush of a hurricane from the south or swift moving front from the west,  there are new obstacles to climb over or through as newly windthrown trees and or broken limbs lay across the trail. These are the exclamation points in an otherwise slow turning of September's transition.

In a time that is generally quiet, and for some, spiritual, yet we are challenged to accept the harshness of nature along with the beauty. We live in an altered state of nature, a condition born of hundreds of years of human management and so it's easy to feel settled and peaceful. But the struggle for winter's survival begins now and in earnest, no matter how simplified we've made the landscape. People who live close to the land, however, do not ignore subtle signals and they are busy preparing,  taking inventory, and stocking up. Venison will be in the freezer by Christmas. Canned vegetables are filling the pantry now. Refilled water jugs are stowed out of sight for when the power goes out come winter storms. 

Goldenrod signals the time to prepare.

Most of us live in a de-natured world. We no longer fear our natural environment so it doesn't figure into modern living.  Nothing much is left in our human-controlled landscape that could eat us, so other than threats of severe weather, natural environment is relegated to the background. Here on the game lands, however, I see another subtle sign of a season's turning - the presence of a man and his hunting dog, both outfitted in blaze orange but without a gun for today is Sunday. Soon we are chatting as our dogs sniff and wag and greet. 

Walking Amos in the game lands.

It has become something of a fall tradition that we walk our dogs on Sunday mornings and eventually cross paths.  His yellow lab, Cory, stands patiently while coonhound Amos bounces all around. Cory's dad catches me up on all things Game Commission and he's not too happy about a recent change.  As frustrating as the regulations are to him, however, he says he's glad we have so much public hunting land to use. He volunteers with a fish and game club to help clear trails here and he knows how precious this landscape is. "Seems like every time I turn around, Lancaster County is turning another farm into a subdivision."  

Hairy Thoroughwort and Clubmoss. 

At the end of the 19th century, Pennsylvania's landscapes looked very different. Most forests had been logged off. Farmlands, much of it degraded and exhausted, took the place of the woods. Deer were rare. Elk and bear and mountain lion had been hunted to extinction. The Game Commission formed out of the State Sportsman Association in an attempt to stop the wastage and begin the process of restoring habitat and populations of game.  By 1897 laws and regulations were enacted to protect what little was left but with an eye to the future. Enforcing those new laws was dangerous work. Nearly twenty wardens were shot and killed by 1905. That same year the PGC was given the task to acquire and secure as conservation acreage and twenty game lands were established. Now there are 335 designated conservation areas protecting 1.5 million acres for regulated public hunting, the protection of natural heritage, and the increase of biodiversity. 

From the Hawk Watch Overlook, Susquehannock State Park

After our game lands visit, Amos and I stopped by Susquehannock State Park and wander out to the overlook where a pair of hawk spotters had set up their scopes and cameras. I asked about the early count so far. I'm told there have been a few osprey and quite a few hawks. The spotter showed me her clipboard. I mentioned I'd been up to Hawk Mountain a few weekends in a row recently. "Aren't we lucky?" she says, "To be able to catch the early stream of migrants?" As I look upriver across the Susquehanna Valley I am thankful, too, that we have so much protected land - almost everything thing in my view is conservation land. The trees looked a little yellower and the sky heavy with cold front squall clouds, subtle signs of changes to come. 


My niece and I marveled at the past-bloom sunflower fields at McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area near the C&O Canal. Acres of heavy, nodding heads of sunflower seeds made for the biggest feeding station I've ever seen. 


Friday, August 28, 2020

PA Hawk Mountain: Visiting an Old Friend

A map showing broad-winged hawk migratory movements from northeast US to South America
Broadwing Hawk migration map, courtesy of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

For two weekends now we've ventured up to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, first with my sister and the second with my daughter and two grandkids. It struck me both times how often I return here and now, having just turned 60, it feels more like visiting with an old friend. We just pick up where we left off. 

I first came here on a field trip in college with my landscape professor and small class of six students. We painted and sketched at the lookouts the first day, camped at Blue Rocks that evening, and worked in the forest the second day, interpreting the season and the land as we chose. My friend Steve and I returned a few times that year to explore the trails and paint some more. With the exception of the years I lived in South Carolina and Vermont, I've been back several times each year since. 

The mountain and its surrounding landscape speaks to a complex relationship with humans.  For the environmental historian, it may be easy to learn the history in some archives or database but ease does not reflect this complexity from the quiet of a library or reading room. Our work happens in the field where we can hear and see the histories from other-than-human perspectives. We incorporate these into our analysis and interpretation of the histories of sites and events.  

First spotter on the first day of the 2020 migration count.

We hiked to the popular overlooks where first-timers gawk and catch their breath not realizing how much science is happening here. My sister and I watched the first hawk spotter of the season take his post on the North Lookout to begin the 2020 count. Four Broadwing Hawks for the first day. The following Saturday with my daughter and kids, we scrambled out to the edge of summit carefully picking our way between boulders to find a sitting spot away from a building crowd of birders and hikers.. Seventeen Broadwing Hawks were counted by the time we settled in for a mid-morning snack. Mid-August and the Broad-Winged migration is on! In a few weeks the daily count will top a hundred a day flying over this summit, while other raptor species will join in their southern stream out of Pennsylvania, the Northeast, New England and Canada. 

Laura climbing the stone steps to the North Lookout.

The fall migration of raptors in Pennsylvania is legendary and at Hawk Mountain particularly so. Tied to this annual months-long event is a solid scientific research program that has helped explain this phenomenon and the role people have played in it. Targeted research on the Broadwing Hawk in particular has revealed how this secretive forest hawk has endured human pressures on its forest habitat, how far they travel to their wintering grounds (GPS trackers), and the status of populations over time.  Scientific research combines with conservation seamlessly here and this is not lost on hikers who absorb the information on interpretive panels and study count charts at major trail intersections. 

Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachian Range.

Hawk migration is just such good scientific storytelling and with data so readily available and robust, the plot only gets more exciting as the story unfolds. We hiked down along the flank of the mountain through Ice Age relic fields of freeze-thaw shattered Tuscarora sandstone, metamorphosed river bed sediments thrust upwards in several mountain-building events that spanned 450 million years.  At many of the overlooks and throughout the rock fields, we observed the fossilized trackways of Arthrophycus, a worm-like arthropod, a sand dweller of river banks, mouths of estuaries, and boundaries of sea and shore.  

Fossil trackways and burrows.

What is the relationship between Broadwing Hawks, we wondered, and this mile-long rock field? Looking up into the forest canopy we observed that the predominate tree species here is Chestnut Oak, a tough, muscular tree of the Northeast mountain forest. It was near an open plain of shattered sandstone that the first Broadwing Hawk to be GPS tagged  ( named Rosalie - how cool is that, conservation historians?) was caught at her nest in a Chestnut Oak. Chestnut Oaks  grow in challenging, rocky terrain, their roots spreading laterally as well as deeply into the crevices and fractures between the rocks.  These oaks knit the whole scene together above and under ground and provide stable and mature habitat for forest-dwelling hawks and the small mammals and snakes they prey upon.

Aiden with massive Chestnut Oaks behind and up slope, anchoring the rock field.

When we see the big picture from a vantage point, Chestnut Oak forest cloaks the mountain in deep green and spreads like an ocean down slopes, into coves, and out across the Northeast Appalachian range. The forest offers wildlife continuous habitat for 60 miles along the Kittatinny Ridge. Hawk Mountain is one section of this long mountain and it is easy to see why Broadwings nest in these woods and are positioned along this major migration route. As GPS tracking has demonstrated, Broadwing Hawks are might migrators who follow a route that stretches from Pennsylvania to the mountain forests of Ecuador and Peru. The nesting range of Broadwing Hawks in Pennsylvania aligns with the expansive  forests nearly completely recovered after restoration efforts became a priority in the Commonwealth in the 1920s. Their nesting range is expanding northward as forests reclaim landscapes once heavily farmed, quarried, and logged into New England and Canada.

Chestnut Oak forest dominates the mountain ridges and rocky valley.

Tuscarora Sandstone is the primary rock type we encounter at Hawk Mountain and dominates the summits and slopes of South-Central and Northeast mountains of the Ridge and Valley Province of Pennsylvania. Outcrops of vertical formations are iconic to many popular mountain summits while road cuts along Pennsylvania highways exhibit everything from horizontal beds to twisted and tortured bends that make it appear almost fluid. There are many places to see "rivers of rocks" including Hickory Run State Park which is next on my list of places to go. A visit to the aptly named Hawk Falls is in order during migration season. You can also camp at the edge of a rock field at Blue Rocks just six miles down the mountain from the sanctuary. 

A good workout!

From the perspective of the rock fields, the mountain is still wearing away. We heard a few small shifts out on the rock field as the sun heated the boulders up to the point they were hot to the touch. Heat and cold are part of the process of fracturing. From the perspective of the oaks, the rock fields are excellent places to anchor a forest to a mountain. From the point of view of the Broadwings, the Chestnut Oaks are the best places to build a nest and raise young. Rosalie has nested here for many years now, raising four chicks successfully. She'll be off for Peru soon to winter in the mountain forests there and that's what knits our conservation story to the southern hemisphere. n increase in logging and land clearances are growing threats to winter habitat for Broadwings and the research done at Hawk Mountain has a clear international conservation potential.
Love our raptors! Goofball sister. 

The spectacle of hawk migration season connects us to rocks and trees and rivers of wind. These are stories I love to investigate time after time, now with grandkids in tow. Like an old friend, the mountain and its stories welcome us back throughout the seasons, and for the environmental historian each climb and ramble adds to the unfolding and complex history of our relationship to the mountain and birds of prey.


Fact Sheet on Broadwing Hawk conservation and science at Hawk Mountain: https://www.hawkmountain.org/raptors/broad-winged-hawk 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

PA Tuscarora State Park: Finding A Trace

This weekend my sister and I ventured north to the mountains to visit Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Tuscarora State Park. In this stretch of the Appalachians, the hills run zig-zags with even-topped ridges folded hard with valleys squeezed in between.  They serve to funnel north winds to create aerial highways that carry millions of birds migrating southward from New England, the Canadian Maritimes and Boreal, and the Arctic in the fall. 

We'd spent the morning on the overlooks and boulder trails of Hawk Mountain and watched as a lone hawk spotter-counter started his first shift of the fall season on the North Lookout. I'll post about that experience later, but for the afternoon we drove down into the folded valleys for a wander. Like the aerial highways above, these valleys have carried people for thousands of years on networks of footpaths. 

We navigated the Spirit of the Tuscarora Trail, a figure-8 path that winds along the flanks of Lake Tuscarora and Locust Creek through hemlock, oak, hickory, and rhododendron forest. We came upon several sections of trail that followed a much older treadway which reminded me of the holloways and sunken footpaths of Scotland and England. There was some careful trail work done under the rhododendron to clear just enough limb lattice to clear room for a human passing beneath. I've seen rhodo forests hacked to bits to make way for wider, higher trails that accommodate groups and bikes and horses, so I made sure to let Pap Knauss know in a Facebook post that his careful work was really appreciated. 

Looks like recent rains refilled a vernal pool - toadlets abound!

Paul A. W. Wallace (1891-1967), author and professor at Lebanon Valley College near here, wrote one of the first books I remember picking up in my undergrad years at MICA while studying landscape. It sparked my interest in human-man landforms and in reading old maps. Indian Paths of Pennsylvania, (1965) laid groundwork for environmental history in Pennsylvania, a field he once called "outdoor history."  I don't doubt that his books, both of which I still have, influenced my love of EH and later, my earning a PhD in the field. 

Like rivers of wind that carry birds along Appalachian ridges, river and creek valleys served as a corridors for human travel over and through this mountainous state. Wallace worked to document this network of indigenous paths that carried people great distances and connected native towns and villages. These paths are all but gone today - paved over, plowed up, eroded away, or built upon - so that very few sections of the old ways survive. I've come across some old traces occasionally in my years hiking PA and on this hike we wondered if we hadn't come across a trace, maybe having become a bridle path after being abandoned by foot travelers. 

From: Wallace (1965) Indian Paths of Pennsylvania

It certainly had the right feel. I've walked an embedded section of the Paxtang Path that is now the modern Conestoga Trail, itself named for the last of the Susquehannocks, and followed its through some old woods along the Susquehanna. A farmer-friend in Adams County pointed out what he thought was a section of the ancient Monocacy path, a major South-Central PA foot trail out of Maryland. It's mainly the Lincoln Highway Rt 30 today, but what he showed me was a very narrow sidling road, too narrow to be the famous wagon road carried tens of thousands of settlers west.  Lou is the sixth generation to farm this land. "We've always called it the old Indian Trace," he said and we followed it across his woodlot for a ways before it ended at a paved road and was lost to a recreation field on the other side. On several occasions I've intersected  what I believe to be the Nanticoke Path that runs north-south from Delaware to New York.  I've also experienced Indian paths in North and South Carolina and Virginia where old Indian paths are still called traces. 

Pearl Shell Mussel

Wallace's research was extensive. He used old maps, archives, settler and missionary journals, and the oral histories of early 20th century road builders who remembered the lay of the land before paved turnpikes and highways. He talked to farmers and miners who knew of sunken trails that led to hand-dug quarries for flint, soapstone, paint minerals, and chert. His work was so extensive and exact that his maps have been added to the State Archives GIS system and marked as historic. 

Wallace suggests that for those engaged in long-distance travel on the Pennsylvania path network, finding a night's rest was not as difficult as we might imagine. Villages, rock shelters, and even traveler's cabins were kept for tired travelers and were written about by traders who found the paths accommodating, often faster to use on foot than the rugged and dangerous wagon paths.  These paths did not have names as we name our roads and highways today, but they were often known by the names of villages that connected them like the Mahoning Indian Town Path and Conestoga Town Path that we can still follow by road today.

Embedded path - a trace.

Like a big river, a major paths was fed by tributary paths. The Great Warrior Path, known to hundreds of tribes across the Eastern U.S.was joined by dozens of footpaths that came from upcountry towns and palisade villages from the Chesapeake to the Great Lakes.  Some treadways were ages old, while others like the Nanticoke Path were in use only for the few years it took an entire indigenous group to leave their homeland, displaced by European invaders. In a time of national division and dangerous hate of "the outsider" I am reminded of my own immigrant ancestors who played no small part in ridding the land of its indigenous population and I wonder how they, German, Scot, English, and Scot settlers, thought about the people they displaced, if they gave them any thought at all. 

The Tuscarora People were displaced from coastal North Carolina after the violence of the Tuscarora War (1711-1718).  Succumbing to the pressures of European settlers, merchants, and militias, the people fled north on the Tuscarora Path. It carried exiles hundreds of miles north to Pennsylvania and New York where they were accepted into the protection of the League of Five (now Six) Nations.  According to park literature, descendants of some of those migrants continue to live in the area though most resettled in the Great Lakes region. The Tuscarora War bears some further research as it played a decisive and divisive role in how the southern slave trade evolved from kidnapping and enslavement of native people to the African slave trade in the Carolinas. David Perry's newest research (below in Notes) really casts an intense light on this period of Colonial history.

Tuscarora Lake

We finished up our hike down at the lake to enjoy the sounds of a few families picnicking and kids swimming. The trail was beautiful and I was excited at having spotted a new-to-me freshwater mussel species, the Pearl Shell (thanks again to Pap) -  (life dance!). It's time to dig out the snorkle mask and go visit our cold creek mussel beds which are in dire need of protection and appreciation.  Great day hiking, mountain and valley miles of wonderful Pennsylvania natural and hidden human histories.  


Edie Wallace, granddaughter to Paul A.W. Wallace, and a cultural resources historian documented her trip to retrace a route laid out by her grandfather in his classic book. I've been on this route a lot.
"Following Grandpa's Footsteps: Retracing the Indian Paths of Pennsylvania," in: International Society for Landscape, Place, and Material Culture, Vol. 36 (2013). http://www.pioneeramerica.org/past2013/past2013artwallace.html

Wallace's book can be found on the Internet Archive and is still available in print.  https://archive.org/details/indianpathsofpen00wall/mode/2up

David Perry's excellent 2016 book, The Tuscarora War: Indians, Settlers, and the Fight for the Carolina Colonies, takes the deepest dive yet into the factors, factions, and consequences of this deadly period of Colonial settlement when white merchants, planters, traders, and slavers poured into the Carolinas from Barbados and Europe and threatened the survival of the Tuscarora people. A good read, but not an easy one.