Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beauty Of Late Spring In The Cumberlands


May 20, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Beautiful Catawba Rhododendron blooming on Stone Mountain of the High Knob Massif added to gorgeous late spring conditions in Flag Rock Recreation Area of the City of Norton.

The High Knob Landform

The High Knob Landform WebCite Permalink

The Appalachian Climate Center

May 20, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Rugged Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Catawba Rhododendron ( Rhododendron catawbiense )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Rugged Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Catawba RhododendronRhododendron catawbiense )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Flag Rock of City of Norton
Catawba Rhododendron In Full Bloom
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Catawba Rhododendron Decorate Cliffs
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Catawba Rhododendron Decorate Cliffs
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies & Catawba Rhododendrons
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Catawba Rhododendrons Along Cliffs
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

An objective of this journey was to 
capture small Yellow Lady Slippers.

The slipper on these orchids
was only about one inch long.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Yellow Lady SlipperCypripedium parviflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

While zooming in for a closer shot an insect similar to the one observed on Pine Mountain came along and may be a pollinator of these orchids 
( in addition to bees ).

*The insect species photographed on Pine Mountain
was working the Pink Lady Slipper orchid.

Beauty Along Red Fox Trail Of Pine Mountain

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
A Possible Pollinator Insect
Yellow Lady Slipper ( Cypripedium parviflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
A Possible Pollinator Insect
Yellow Lady Slipper ( Cypripedium parviflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
A Possible Pollinator Insect
Yellow Lady Slipper ( Cypripedium parviflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Yellow Lady Slipper Colony In Late PM Light
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Yellow Lady Slipper ( Cypripedium parviflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Yellow Lady Slipper ( Cypripedium parviflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Otherwise, this journey into the High Knob high country was to document simply gorgeous late Spring conditions featuring dramatic skies and rock formations!

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Elevation Around 4000 feet
Gorgeous Skies Above Wildlife Clearing
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Elevation Around 4000 feet
Gorgeous Skies Above Wildlife Clearing
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Elevation Around 4000 feet
Gorgeous Skies Above Wildlife Clearing
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

These were among the most beautiful skies I saw all day, as one could almost reach up and touch these big ( puffy ) cumulus forming over this high elevation meadow.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Elevation Around 4000 feet
Gorgeous Skies Above Wildlife Clearing
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Elevation 3200 feet
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A circular polarizing filter is the one I use most often on the lens of
my camera on days like May 20, as I love the way it brings out colorful hues of the sky & vegetation.  The degree to which it does that depends upon the angle between the camera and sun ( making scenes with different angles look different with respect to intensity of sky colors ).

Light was harsh at Flag Rock Recreation Area during early afternoon, such that contrast was very high and vegetation bright ( even without using a circular polarizer filter ).  Although photographs above, for example, are pretty the best ones were made with less intense light.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.


Benges Basin of Massif
Dual Reservoirs of City of Norton

May 20, 2015
Water Elevation 3318 feet
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

I loved these shots at the Upper Norton Reservoir as trees retained some colorations of spring and the sky became dramatic with high altitude ice crystal clouds in contrast with the dry air ( blue skies ).

May 20, 2015 at 1:44 PM
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Skies Above Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The water had a beautiful aqua-green color.

May 20, 2015
Water Elevation 3318 feet
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Beautiful Water At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Beautiful Water & Sky At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

While trees still had some colorations of early-mid spring in these upper elevations, they are running ahead of what I have observed ( in the mean ) during past years given the anomalous warmth which has dominated May 2015.

*Tree leaves in these upper elevations of the High Knob Massif remained mostly immature and lighter green in nature ( as typical of early-mid spring in lower elevations ), with cold air drainages such as Benges Basin and especially High Knob Lake Basin ( as highlighted later ) having the most young and immature leaves.

May 20, 2014 at 1:22 PM
Spring Colorations Remain In Trees
Beautiful Water At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM
Spring Colorations Remain In Trees
Beautiful Water At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2014
Spring Colorations Remain In Trees
Beautiful Water At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM
Before Clouds Increased Significantly
Beautiful Water At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Beautiful Skies Above Benges Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Beautiful Skies Above Benges Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.


Majestic Rock Formations
Flag Rock Recreation Area
A City of Norton Park

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Flag Rock Recreation Area of City of Norton
Rugged Cliff Formations on Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Flag Rock Recreation Area of City of Norton
Rugged Cliff Formations on Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Tall Cliff Formations on Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Tall Cliff Formations on Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Tall Cliff Formations on Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 20, 2015
Elevation 3200 feet
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Significant Tree On Top Of Cliff Formation
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Significant Tree Between Cliff Formation
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Some passages between the cliffs are so tight that it is a squeeze to pass through the rock channels.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Window Through A Cliff Formation
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Significant Tree Between Cliff Formation
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Catawba Rhododendrons Along Cliffs
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area of Stone Mountain
Unique Cliff Formations of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Remnant Massif of High Knob Landform
Remote Cliff Formations On Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Remnant Massif of High Knob Landform
Remote Cliff Formations On Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The photograph below ( similar to the photo I chose to open this section with ), while being a classic High Knob Massif shot, shows only the front slope with the main mass of high country spreading outward and higher far beyond what appears to be a peak that drops off on the other side.

The basins holding High Knob Lake, Big Cherry Lake, The Glades, Bark Camp Lake, etc...all spread outward for many miles beyond the apparent peak below which does not drop off in this case.  Locally, this front slope of the massif has often been called Pickem Mountain.

May 20, 2015
Remnant Massif of High Knob Landform
Remote Cliff Formations On Stone Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.


High Knob Lake Basin
High Knob Lake Recreation Area
Jefferson National Forest

May 20, 2015
Bathhouse Facility At High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Water Elevation 3490 feet
Upper End of High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Elevation 3500 feet
High Knob Lake Basin
Endemic Southern Appalachian Northern Woods
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Lake Basin
Light Green Colorations Amid Northern Woods
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Lake Basin of High Knob Massif
Late Afternoon Amid A High Mountain Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Web-wire has been put around some large trees by the U.S. Forest Service to keep American Beavers from chewing into their trunks.

May 20, 2015
Jefferson National Forest
High Knob Lake Basin of High Knob Massif
Late Afternoon Amid A High Mountain Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A favorite shot of this entire day was lucky to be captured amid lofty High Knob Lake basin, as late afternoon sunlight reflected off spring wildflowers and trees of these northern woods.

*Many trees here still possessing light green colorations
so typical of early-mid spring amid lower elevations

May 20, 2015
Elevation 3490 feet
Late Afternoon Light In High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
Elevation 3490 feet
Late Afternoon Light In High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Spirals of dead Canadian Hemlock trees ( Tsuga candensis ) are mixed in the northern woods surrounding the Lake ( like at Big Cherry Lake ) while others survive.

*With temperatures dipping to around -30 below zero during this
past winter it will be interesting to see if the adelgids have been killed.

May 20, 2015 at 7:09 PM
High Knob Lake of High Knob Massif
Early Evening Light Reflects Off Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Lake of High Knob Massif
Early Evening Light Along High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Lake of High Knob Massif
Early Evening Light Along High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Lake of High Knob Massif
Early Evening Light Along High Knob Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015 at 7:22 PM
Partially Opened Flower Cluster
Speckled Wood Lily ( Clintonia umbellulata )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Purple speckles on the flowers of this plant
gives it the name of Speckled Wood Lily.

Cold air drainage into High Knob Lake could be felt by the time this large patch of Canada Mayflower was photographed, amid very low light, with a 5 second exposure required.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Massif
Canada Mayflower ( Maianthemum canadense )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 20, 2015
High Knob Lake Basin
Great Rhododendron ( Rhododendron maximum )
Growing In Base Of Giant Canadian Hemlock Tree
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 2015
Red-Orange Form
Flame Azalea Rhododendron calendulaceum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 2015
False Solomon Seal ( Maianthemum racemosum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 24, 2015 at 8:28 PM
Another Red-Orange Form In Fading Light
Flame Azalea Rhododendron calendulaceum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Reference the wildflower and other species section
here for more photographs taken this spring:

Earth Day Tribute From The High Knob Massif

Late Spring is a gorgeous time of year that features both native and cultivated plants in bloom across the Cumberland Mountains.

May 17, 2015
Flower Garden of John & Mae Mullins
Garden Pink Peony ( Paeonia lactiflora )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 17, 2015
Flower Garden of John & Mae Mullins
Marigold ( Tagetes spp. ) With Tiny Visitor
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 17, 2015
Flower Garden of John & Mae Mullins
Cultivated Iris Following PM Rain Showers
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 17, 2015
Flower Garden of John & Mae Mullins
Silvery-Leafed Nettle ( Lamium spp. ) Flowers
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 17, 2015
Flower Garden of John & Mae Mullins
Cultivated Purple Iris ( Iris spp. ) Following Rain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 2015
Creed Mullins Family Cemetery
White-Yellowish PeonyPaeonia spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 18, 2015
The First One Seen Blooming
Day LilyHemerocallis spp. ) After Showers
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

I took this shot of the first Day Lily seen blooming late on May 18 and by the next morning it had disappeared 
( it was ate by a White-tailed Deer in the night ).

May 18, 2015
Traditional Shot - Focus On Bee
Colorful Bee On A Buttercup Blossom
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 18, 2015
( No Photoshop )
Deeper Focus - Under-Exposed 1 Stop
Colorful Bee On A Buttercup Blossom
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 19, 2015
White Clover ( Trifolium repens )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 24, 2015
Red Rose - Creed Mullins Family Cemetery
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 24, 2015
Cultivated Coreopsis - Dora Browning Flower
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 24, 2015
Rose In John & Mae Mullins Flower Garden
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 24, 2015
Flower Gardens of John & Mae Mullins
Chinese Dogwood ( Cornus kousa var. chinensis )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 2015
Loading Up With Pollen
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 24, 2015
( A Larval Moth Of The Family Geometridae )
Chinese Dogwood With A Tiny Inchworm Species
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 25, 2015
Flower Gardens of John & Mae Mullins
Chinese Dogwood & Chinese Chestnut 
With Japanese Maple In Late Spring of 2015
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 25, 2015
Flower Gardens of John & Mae Mullins
Chinese Dogwood - Blossoms Toward Sky
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 25, 2015
Flower Gardens of John & Mae Mullins
Japanese Maple & Chinese Dogwood
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 26, 2015
Yellow Stonecrop ( Sedum sarmentosum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 28, 2015
Coral Red Rose - John & Mae Mullins Gardens
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 28, 2015
Yellow Knockout Rose - John & Mae Mullins Gardens
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 28, 2015
Red Knockout Rose - John & Mae Mullins Gardens
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

May 28, 2015
John & Mae Mullins Gardens
Sundrop Flower Oenothera spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

This section is under construction.  Please check back.