Near Arcadia in Iron County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
St. Francois Mountain Glades
Glades are Special Places
Like islands in a sea of trees, rocky openings called glades are scattered across the mountainsides. Glades are very significant features of the St. Francois Mountains. They are common throughout Taum Sauk Mountain State Park and can be found along the parkís trails.
Thin soils and exposed bedrock create dry conditions on glades. This, along with occasional fires, makes it hard for most trees to survive. Park managers periodically burn glades to keep them open and grassy.
The ruggedness of these mountains has helped preserve their quality. You can help preserve these glades by staying on trails and leaving them undisturbed for others to enjoy.
Home to Many Plants and Animals
A special value of glades is the home they provide to a variety of plants and animals. Some of these, like the American goldfinch, are common throughout the state. Others like the eastern collared lizard are Great Plains species that only thrive this far east because of glades.
Still others are adapted specifically to these glades. The lichen grasshopper blends in with the lichen-covered rocks, becoming almost invisible. One of the nationís rarest plants, Meadís milkweed, thrives on some of the regionís rocky glades.
Watch for these plants
Many kinds of wildflowers cover Taum Sauk Mountain. Some, like the ashy sunflower, scaly blazing star and Indian grass, (pictured here), suggest links to tallgrass prairies that lapped the edge of the Ozarks in earlier times.
Birds are frequent visitors on Taum Sauk Mountain glades. Among the many kinds are blue-winged warblers, which like to feed and nest among shrubs in these natural forest openings.
Glade wildflowers attract lots of butterflies. Many types of butterflies range widely, but the Missouri woodland swallowtail is an Ozark species of open woodlands and glades.
Lichen grasshoppers are just one of several invertebrates whose form, color or lifestyle favors survival on open glades.
The eastern wood rat is one of several small mammal species at home around glades. A large nest of sticks under rock ledges is sometimes the best sign that this secretive animal is nearby.
Eastern collared lizards seek rocky, open glades where fast movement and keen eyesight help them catch insects and escape predators.
Lying beneath the rocks, the striped scorpion seeks shelter from the summer sun, coming out in the cooler night air to feed.
Erected by Missouri State Parks.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Taum Sauk Mountain State Park Overlook. Marker is in this post office area: Ironton MO 63650, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park Overlook (here, next to this marker); Welcome to the Top of Missouri (a few steps from this marker); General Grant Commission Commemorative (approx. 5Ĺ miles away); Battle of Pilot Knob (approx. 5Ĺ miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Pilot Knob (approx. 5Ĺ miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Pilot Knob (approx. 5Ĺ miles away); Iron County - The "Birthplace of 4-H" in Missouri (approx. 5.6 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Pilot Knob (approx. 5.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arcadia.
Also see . . . Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. The official website of this state park. (Submitted on October 26, 2016.)
Categories. • Environment •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 26, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 117 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 26, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.