The area off to the left of the trail has been affected by storm damage.  Trees were knocked over here, and this has caused more of the forest floor to be exposed to sunlight.  This increase in sunlight has allowed sun-loving plants to thrive in an area that was once dominated by shade-loving plants.  This “change” is not good or bad, but it will definitely affect the surrounding area, as different types of plants attract different types of animals and insects.