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Natural Transition Areas

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Even as a kid I always looked for those changes in topography, flora and fauna that indicated a transition point between natural climatological or physiographic regions.

For example:

Driving west through Texas on I-20 past Tyler it's interesting to watch the landscape change and become more arid.

Driving south on I-75 in Georgia you can watch the transition from the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain at the Fall Line. The streams slow down and meander more...Spanish moss becomes more common.

The transition along I-65 bewteen Birmingham and Montgomery is especially apparent. Driving north you can see the higher ground in the distance, even though the immediate Black Belt land is pancake flat.

Driving north on FLA 85 in the Panhandle, I always look for the last stand of Saw Palmetto near Crestview. This may be a transition between USDA climate zones--i.e. between 8b and 8a (for those in the know abouth that stuff).

Along the west coast of FLA near Tampa Bay, sea grape becomes common once you get south of the bay. I don't recall any at Honeymoon Island near Dunedin. Even though coconut palms aren't native, you really won't see them at all until you get closer to Bradenton or Sarasota.

What are some of those you all have noticed?

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I guess I'd have to say noticing the differences between the flat areas of Arkansas (east and south) to the hilly areas of Arkansas (north and west). Going on I-40 it's not always real easy to tell because it follows the Arkansas River Valley. But once you get to Little Rock that's generally the dividing point. It's at the edge of the Ouachitas, you don't really notice the Ozarks much till you get further west. East and south of Little Rock it's pretty much flat with a few exceptions. One other change that I notice is the Bobby Hopper Tunnel on I-540. It occurs near the highest point of the Boston Mountains (in that area that is) of the Ozarks. In the winter you might see snow on the ground north of the tunnel but not to the south of it. Same with spring, it can be rather brown to the north of the tunnel while to the south things are already turning green.

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