Having just returned to Georgia after a 1000 mile drive I was pretty wiped out but I learned that the preserve was still open until this coming Saturday and I decided to go. I have been coming here for years, and I was truly impressed with the many trail improvements that have been done and all of the upgrades to the preserve. There is so much to learn, and the preserve has made a very good effort at education with lots of signs that were designed to help people understand the ecological importance of the preserve. This is a truly special place! I spent the afternoon trying to take the best photographs I could to highlight the beauty of the place!

In one of the photographs, you will see a highway. To the left of the highway is the actual preserve.

Skunk cabbage blooming in the wild in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

In a ravine alongside a stream just north of the Horticultural Center, Wednesday February 21st 2024. Oddly mimicking the Skunk Cabbage flower in the picture above is a piece of a crashed and burned automobile which had scorched the other side of the stream, filled with burned seats and melted metal. A typical scene in Fairmount Park and all over Philly I hardly noticed the carnage.
For at least millennia this stream flowed into the Schuylkill River until the mid twentieth century when the Schuylkill Expressway was built over it filling in a vast portion of the ravine and sending the stream into an often blocked up tunnel. Yet the upper portion of the ravine is intact and has many of the long time flora surviving, including this population of skunk cabbage as well as Mayapple, Redbud and Spring beauty to name just a few.
I will call for it again and will continue to make my demand: The Schuylkill Expressway must be dismantled! It is not inevitable that it will last forever.
From an evolutionary point of view, what advantage does the expressway have over the Skunk Cabbage?