Tuesday, September 30, 2014

High Knob Naturalist Rally & Color Changes


September 27, 2014
Water Elevation 3318 feet
Upper Norton Reservoir of High Knob Massif
Early Autumn Color Changes In Benges Basin
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.



Frosty cold conditions with MINS around 32 degrees on September 23 accelerated color 
changes amid cold air drainage corridors 
of the High Knob Massif.

September 27, 2014
Water Elevation 3318 feet
Upper Norton Reservoir of High Knob Massif
Early Autumn Color Changes In Benges Basin
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

Early autumn colorations are typical 
of upper elevations within the massif.

Early Autumn Color Changes In 2012

September 27, 2014
Water Elevation 2734 feet
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

Ideal weather conditions, with afternoon temps 
in the 60s, and early colorations were the perfect backdrop for the 8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally sponsored by The Clinch Coalition.

September 27, 2014
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Frank Read & Lily: Bays Mountain Raptor Center
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

Many wonderful activities for all ages were offered this year, with Frank Read and a Red-tailed Hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) named Lily giving an awesome presentation.

Frank had never been to the High Knob Massif before and got "lost" on his way to Bark Camp Lake.  I offered to draw him a "map" on how to get back to civilization.  Frank, my friend, I hope you and Lily had a safe and more direct journey back down into the Tri-Cities!

September 27, 2014
Lily The Red-tailed Hawk
Special Guest From Bays Mountain Raptor Center
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

Mushroom hunter Johnny Stanley gave a great presentation on the vast variety of local fungi species ( some edible & many poisonous ).

September 27, 2014
Mushroom Expert Johnny Stanley
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

When my time came to talk about climatology I had to laugh when Dr. Phil Shelton went to sleep as Paul Moceri, president of The Clinch Coalition, announced my presentation!

September 27, 2014
Climate Expert Wayne Browning & Paul Moceri
The 8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

Later, after Phil finally woke up, we did have 
a nice visit at the new High Knob Lookout.

Phil is a wonderful professor & human being.  He was my science adviser at UVA-Wise and knows how "long-winded" I can get when talking about climate.  He is also responsible, of course, for all the mistakes I've made over the years ( at least, that is what I tell him ).

September 27, 2014
Phil Shelton & Wayne Browning
Visiting At High Knob Lookout Tower
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.


8th Annual High Knob
Naturalist Rally 2014

September 27, 2014
High Dynamic Range Photograph
Morning Sunrise Over Bark Camp Lake
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

Rod is simply showing off with these shots, 
but I guess he's earned that right by putting 
in years of hard work and time!

September 27, 2014
High Dynamic Range Photograph
Steam Fog & Morning Chill At Bark Camp Lake
Photograph by Roddy Addington - © All Rights Reserved.

It is time to get serious now.  Simply put, this was a great day to be alive and in the High Knob Massif 
( with visibility down to the Black Mountains in western North Carolina, and beyond along the mountain chain of the southern Appalachians ).

September 27, 2014
Group Photograph For 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

No wonder there were so many happy 
faces in Bill's group shot for 2014.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
A Day For Love & Joy With Family & Friends
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

The crisp morning amid this high valley began 
with TCC president Paul Moceri introducing District Ranger Jorge Hersel, whose lead the 
Clinch District of the Jefferson National Forest since September 28, 2009.

September 27, 2014
District Ranger Jorge Hersel
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Jorge was presented a nice gift for
appreciation of his services.

The Clinch Coalition President Paul Moceri
Presents District Ranger Jorge Hersel With
A Gorgeous Bill Harris Photograph of The
Upper Falls of Little Stony Creek Gorge
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Morning hikes organized and departed with 
U.S. Forest Service Biologist Lois Boggs leading 
one into the beautiful wetland valley above 
Bark Camp Lake.

September 27, 2014
Paul Moceri Announces The Wetlands Hike
With Forest Service Biologist Lois Boggs
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Phil Shelton lead the way to Kitchen Rock and 
a discussion of geology, while Dr. Walter Smith explored the woodland ravines in search of Salamanders ( finding more than 2 dozen species ).

September 27, 2014
Paul Moceri Announces Geology With Phil Shelton
And A Salamander Hunt With Walter ( Wally ) Smith
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

The option to canoe & kayak on the lake was provided for those who wanted to explore this mountain gem.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Kayaking On Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Safety was a top priority.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Frank Frey Fits A Life Vest To Keep All Safe
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Morning presentations got underway with Chris Mitchell talking about the invasive plant species that threaten native environments.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Chris Mitchell Illustrates An Invasive Plant Species
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

My lesson learned was to tone it down, 
and simplify the discussion more.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Climate Discussion Centered Upon Orographics
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

I highlighted some attributes and features of orographic forcing, such as the role supercooled clouds and riming play in winter snowfall enhancement across the massif. 

Introduction To The Incredible Nature Of RIME

Rime is much more than a secondary moisture source, and gorgeous visually, amid this remnant massif of high country surrounding High Knob.  Lessons I've learned!

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Climate Discussion Centered Upon Orographics
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Lunch followed with plenty of 
good eatin' for everyone to enjoy.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Lunch Upon The Ground - Beside A Big Oak
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Like the morning, afternoon was filled 
with many great family activities.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Bubo the Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus )
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Frank had some competition during the afternoon as reptiles took center stage following Bubo & Lily.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Chuck Hurd & Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix )
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

This captured everyone's attention!

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Kids Watching The Reptile Presentation
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Although alligators are not a native species, 
they added to the many that were on display.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
A "Hands On" Reptile Presentation
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

An edible mushroon hike was a featured activity that supplemented the morning presentation by Johnny Stanley.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Edible Mushroom Hike Group Discussion
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Megan Krager, Education Specialist from 
Natural Tunnel State Park led a "Save Our Streams" presentation which featured an interesting song & dance by the girls!

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Save Our Streams Presentation With Megan Krager
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Wally led a second hike to search for salamanders, including the lungless Green ( Aneides aeneus ) which can be found in relative abundance amid 
the High Knob Massif ( * )

*The Green Salamander is listed on the International Union
for Conservation of Nature red list of near threatened species.
It is listed as Vulnerable in Virginia with a restricted range.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Dr. Walter Smith With Salamander Hike Group
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

The Clinch Coalition deserve many thanks 
and much praise for another great rally, 
as do all the sponsors that helped make
this 8th Annual Event an awesome success.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Thanks To Sponsors & The Clinch Coalition
Photograph by Bill Harris - © All Rights Reserved.

Phil Shelton took a group around to the new 
High Knob Lookout and I followed later 
along with John & Mae Mullins.

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Atop The High Country of the Appalachians
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

This greatness is what the High Knob 
Naturalist Rally is really all about!

September 27, 2014
8th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Majesty Of The High Knob High Country
Photograph by John & Mae Mullins - © All Rights Reserved.

Make it a point to come in 2015 and discover 
another world in the southern Appalachians!

No comments:

Post a Comment