Monday, April 30, 2018

Spring 2018 Renewal_High Knob Massif Area


April 29, 2018
Middle Elevations of High Knob Massif
Beauty of Red Trillium ( Trillium spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

These Websites Are Sponsored By The:
Proudly Serving The Mountain Region

( Large section - Allow Time To Load )



A frosty ending to April 2018 concluded 
an unseasonably cold mid-spring in the 
Cumberland Mountains.

April 27, 2018
Lower Elevations of Cumberland Mountains
Large-flowered Trillium ( Trillium grandiflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Although trilliums appear simplistic, and 3-parted, there is actually quite a complex of forms within the spectrum from Trillium erectum and Trillium sulcatum ( varied colors upon their emergence ) to Trillium grandiflorum ( varied colorations with aging ).

April 29, 2018
Middle Elevations of High Knob Massif
Creamy-Yellow Form ( Trillium spp. )
 Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

These are all listed as lower-middle elevations since upper elevations continue to creep into spring, with min temperatures dropping deeply into 20s to close out April and begin May 2018.

April 29, 2018
Water Elevation 3120 feet
A Chilly Sunday Afternoon At Big Cherry Lake
 Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Big Cherry Dam of High Knob Massif
 January-April Precipitation Totals

January 2018
5.48"

February 2018
14.37"

March 2018
7.09"

April 2018
3.96"

*Total: 30.90"

A total of 34.78" of precipitation 
during the December-April period.

*The total is somewhat low due to wind induced rain gauge under-catch with air flowing across Big Cherry Dam ( rain gauges are 20 feet above the water level to the northeast and around 100 feet above ground level toward the southwest ).

April 29, 2018
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Vegetation clearly has a long way to go in upper elevations to reach summer status, with the month of May expected to be explosive as longer days and higher mean temps finally get to combine to work their magic!

April 29, 2018
Big Cherry Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Magic already well underway at lower elevations, 
even though not really visible in this long distance 
view looking down to the floor of the Great Valley 
( lying  between high country areas ), in NE Tennessee, and well beyond to the Black Mountains capping the 
far horizon above western North Carolina.

April 29, 2018
Tennessee Valley In Between High Country Masses 
Looking Across High Knob Lake Basin Near Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 3, 2018
Lower Elevations
Dwarf Crested Iris ( Iris cristata )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Pink Azalea ( Rhododendron periclymenoides )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Pink Azalea ( Rhododendron periclymenoides )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Lower-Middle Elevations
Pink Lady's-slipper ( Cypripedium acaule )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Lower-Middle Elevations
Wild Stonecrop ( Sedum ternatum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Spring Scene In Cumberland Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Approaching Sunset In Cumberland Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Spring Scene In Cumberland Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 6, 2018
Young Maple Leaves Emerging
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 9, 2018
Wild Geranium ( Geranium spp. ) 
and Colorful Sweat Bee ( Halictidae Family )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 9, 2018
Flame Azalea ( Rhododendron calendulaceum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 9, 2018
Daisy Fleabane ( Erigeron spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 9, 2018
Buttercup ( Ranunculus spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 10, 2018
Looking SE Across Dickenson County
Towering Cumulus & Cumulonimbus
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 10, 2018
Pink Lady's-slipper ( Cypripedium acaule )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 10, 2018
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid ( Cypripedium acaule )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 10, 2018
Before Sunset
Double Lady's-slipper Orchids
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 10, 2018
Changing Light Near Sunset
Double Beauty of Lady's-slipper Orchids
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 10, 2018
Lower Elevations
Sunset Above The Cumberland Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 11, 2018
Fire Pink ( Silene virginica )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 11, 2018
Wild Comfrey ( Cynoglossum virginianum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 13, 2018
Importance Of Standing Dead Trees
Pileated Woodpecker Home In Dead Beech
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 13, 2018
American Beech ( Fagus grandifolia )
Late Spring In Beech Woods - Lower Elevations
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


Spring Conditions In High Country

A productive field trip with Dr. Walter ( Wally ) Smith was amid increasingly humid conditions in advance of showers and downpours in thunderstorms.

May 15, 2018
Looking Across High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Temperatures during the first half of May have been coolest within high valleys of the high country, which is evident by a more colorful array of emerging tree leaves.

There is a period in mid-spring when the emergence of young leaves causes the forest to look much like autumn, only at this time colors give way to greening that closes the forest canopy instead of dropping off to the forest floor.

Temperatures ( May 1-15, 2018 )
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif

Average Daily MAX: 69.5 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 53.4 degrees
MEAN: 61.4 degrees
MAX Temperature; 76 degrees
MIN Temperature: 37 degrees

A radical increase in temperatures occurred during the first half of May as conditions literally jumped from late winter-early spring straight into summer mode across the mountain region.

Temperatures ( May 1-15, 2018 )
Big Cherry Wetland Valley 4

Average Daily MAX: 73.9 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 43.3 degrees
MEAN: 58.6 degrees
MAX Temperature; 80 degrees
MIN Temperature: 25 degrees

May 15, 2018
High Knob Massif
Big Cherry Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A few bird species documented May 15 included:

Tufted Titmouse 
( Baeolophus bicolor )

Canada Warbler
( Cardellina canadensis )

Veery Thrush
( Catharus fuscescens )

Eastern Wood Pewee
( Contopus virens )

American Crow
( Corvus brachyrhynchos )

Northern Raven
( Corvus corax )

Blue Jay
( Cyanocitta cristata )

Gray Catbird
( Dumetella carolinensis )

Least Flycatcher
( Empidonax minimus )

Wood Thrush
( Hylocichla mustelina )

Dark-eyed Junco
( Junco hyemalis )

Song Sparrow
( Melospiza melodia )

Black-and-white Warbler
( Mniotilta varia )

Brown-headed Cowbird
( Molothrus ater )

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
( Pheucticus ludovicianus )

Scarlet Tanager 
( Piranga olivacea )

Ovenbird
( Seiurus aurocapilla  )

Black-throated Blue Warbler
( Setophaga caerulescens )

Hooded Warbler
( Setophaga citrina )

Magnolia Warbler
( Setophaga magnolia )

American Restart
( Setophaga ruticilla )

American Goldfinch
( Spinus tristis

American Robin
( Turdus migratorius )

Blue-headed Vireo
( Vireo solitarius )

Cedar Waxwing 
( Bombycilla cedrorum )

Broad-winged Hawk 
( Buteo platypterus )

Pileated Woodpecker 
( Hylatomus pileatus )

Black-throated Green Warbler 
( Setophaga virens )

May 15, 2018
Big Cherry Lake Wetland Valley
Interrupted Fern ( Osmunda claytoniana ) with 
Canada Mayflower ( Maianthemum canadense )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Miles of Canada Mayflower are up and partially in bloom as many different fern species are coming 
alive from their winter slumber.

May 15, 2018
Big Cherry Lake Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 15, 2018
Near Little Eagle Knob
Bear Corn ( Conopholis americana )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 17, 2018
Sunlight Highlighting Yellowish Sporangia
Rattlesnake Fern ( Botrychium virginianum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 18, 2018
Lower Elevations Following Rain
Yellow Flag Iris ( Iris pseudacorus )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

May 18, 2018
Virginia Creeper ( Parthenocissus quinquefolia )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved



This section is under construction.  Please check for updates.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Explosive Spring Rebirth Period Delayed


April 16, 2018
Robinette Branch of Powell River
Mid-April Snowfall In High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The famed 30-day period of most explosive spring renewal has now arrived, with a blanket of snow! 

*The April 15 to May 15 period is climatologically the interval which generates the most dramatic landscape changes as winter gives way
to spring rebirth.  Only upper elevations, above 3000 feet, within the High Knob Massif require longer ( often to early June ) to complete
the transition to full summer conditions.

These Websites Are Sponsored By The:
Proudly Serving The Mountain Region

( Large section - Allow Time To Load )



A huge temperature plunge during April 16 brought snow, strong winds and bitterly cold wind chills to the high country, with several inches accumulating at highest elevations in the High Knob Massif.

April 16, 2018
Northern Base of High Knob Massif
Legion Park - City of Norton Parks & Recreation
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Snow was heavy enough to make roads slick down to below the 3000 foot level by the early evening hours of April 16.

April 16, 2018 at 6:18 PM
Pouring Snow At 3200 Feet Elevation
Flag Rock Recreation Area-State Route 619
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Although State Route 619 was already snow covered at highest elevations prior to 5:00 PM on April 16, the sticking snow level really dropped with heavy snow showers and squalls that developed prior to sunset ( with low visibility at times ).

April 16, 2018
Water Elevation 3318 Feet
Falling & Blowing At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 16 at 5:21 PM
Snow Showers & Snow Squalls
Upper Norton Reservoir of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 16 at 5:36 PM
Pouring Snow At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 16, 2018
Heavy Snow Changes Perspective In Forest
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 16, 2018
Northern Base of High Knob Massif
Whitewater & Snow Decorate Legion Park
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 16, 2018
Northern Base of High Knob Massif
Whitewater & Snow Decorate Legion Park
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 16, 2018
Northern Base of High Knob Massif
Whitewater & Snow Decorate Legion Park
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A short video from the Computer Science-Mathematics building at UVA-Wise highlights these late afternoon-early evening snow showers and squalls; although, most of the daylight hours featured these conditions ( especially at upper elevations in the High Knob Massif which is 
rarely visible from Wise ).

High Knob Massif Webcam
University Of Virginia's College At Wise

April 16, 2018
Snow Showers & Snow Squalls

Courtesy Of Computer Science-Mathematics Department

April 16, 2018
Legion Park of City of Norton
Northern Base of High Knob Massif
Great Rhododendron ( Rhododendron maximum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 16, 2018
Northern Base of High Knob Massif
Majestic Cove At Legion Park In Norton
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved


Spring Slowly Arriving

April 21, 2018
Looking Across High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Maple trees are beginning to bud in the high country as a few spring ephemeral wildflowers emerge upon the open forest floor during what 
has been a chilly April in 2018.

Chilly April In High Country

The first 21 days of April featured numerous spells with temperatures dropping into the 10s to lower 20s within the high country of the High Knob Massif.  This included up to 9.0 inches of total snowfall at highest elevations.

March 1 to April 21, 2018
500 MB Geopotential Height Anomalies

This has been part of an anomalously 
cold meteorological spring season.

March 1 to April 21, 2018
925 MB Air Temperature Anomalies

March 2018 Temperatures
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif

Average Daily MAX: 40.8 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 25.3 degrees
MEAN: 33.0 degrees
MAX Temperature; 67 degrees
MIN Temperature: 11 degrees
Total Snowfall: 28.0"

*March was nearly as cold on Eagle Knob as
January 2018 was in the Tri-Cities, Tennessee,
with 4 times as much snow as observed during
the entire winter season at TRI.

April 14, 2018
Big Cherry Wetland Valley
Dwarf Mountain Anemone
( Anemone quinquefolia var. minima )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Canada Mayflowers ( Maianthemum canadense ) were emerging across many acres on April 21; however, not a single flower was yet found to be blooming.  Dwarf Anemone and Halberd-leaved Violets are the most numerous species blooming above 3000 feet ( as of April 21 ).

*It is still early for Canada Mayflower to be blooming, 
with May typically being the month to feature blooms 
on this northern species.

April 21, 2018
Northern Hardwood Forest
Star Chickweed ( Stellaria pubera ) and
Halberd-leaved Yellow Violet ( Viola hastata )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 21, 2018
Northern Hardwood Forest
Ramp ( Allium tricoccum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 21, 2018
Northern Hardwood Forest
Mayapple ( Podophyllum peltatum ) Emerging
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The coolness of Spring 2018 has species running later than in recent years, with this Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid ( below ) being in peak bloom on April 19 in 2016 and at this stage around 
April 21 during 2017.

April 26, 2018
Still Developing - Not Yet Mature
Lower Elevations of Cumberland Mountains
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid ( Cypripedium acaule )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 27, 2018
Lower Elevations of Cumberland Mountains
Large-flowered Trillium ( Trillium grandiflorum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April 27, 2018
Wild Geranium ( Geranium spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

April ended as an unseasonably cold month.

April 2018 Temperatures
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif

Average Daily MAX: 51.1 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 32.2 degrees
MEAN: 41.6 degrees
MAX Temperature; 73 degrees
MIN Temperature: 16 degrees
Total Snowfall: 9.0"

Average temperatures became colder at night on high valley floors to mark a trend that would increase through the first half of May. 

April 2018 Temperatures
Big Cherry Wetland Valley 4

Average Daily MAX: 55.3 degrees
Average Daily MIN: 30.8 degrees
MEAN: 43.0 degrees
MAX Temperature; 76 degrees
MIN Temperature: 19 degrees