Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beauty At 9th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally


September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Autumn Color Changes In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Beautiful and remote wetland valleys rest upstream of Bark Camp Lake in the Little Stony Creek Basin of the High Knob Massif.  These high valleys possess a special environment sculptured by many factors over time, including geology-topography and microclimatology as well as nature's hard working engineer supreme - The North American Beaver. 

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Autumn Color Changes In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Around 1.50" of rain had fallen prior to these photographs 
with the water looking rather silty above the Beaver Dams.

The High Knob Landform

The High Knob Landform WebCite Permalink

The Appalachian Climate Center

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Fresh Looking Beaver Slide Into Water
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Observe the fresh looking Beaver slide into the 
water behind the foreground tree, that is visible 
just left of this tree in the photograph below.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Fresh Looking Beaver Slide Into Water
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

This was the setting for the 9th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally sponsored by The Clinch Coalition.

September 26, 2015
Wildlife Biologist Lois Boggs Leads Hike
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Wildlife Biologist Lois Boggs, of the Clinch Ranger District of the Jefferson National Forest, did a great job leading a hike into wetlands upstream of 
Bark Camp Lake.

September 26, 2015 at 9:56 AM
Morning Light On Bark Camp Lake
9th Annual High Knob Naturalist Rally
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

There was little true sunshine during this day, 
with a bit following early rain that brightened 
colors developing along Bark Camp Lake.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Basin of High Knob Massif
Cloudy & Gloomy Skies Over Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The day began with rain and skies were dark and gloomy into
the wetland valley.  It was not until my return hike that skies
brightened up a bit and I captured most of these photographs.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Basin of High Knob Massif
Cloudy & Gloomy Skies Over Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

While this might look like a grassy field, if one steps off the Boardwalk below it would be into muck of the bog-wetland that is knee to hip dip or greater in places.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Boardwalk Across Wetland In Upper Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Sugar Maples, Alders, Sedges, Rushes, Cinnamon Ferns and a vast array of other species of flora & fauna add to the wondrous setting of these high valleys.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Autumn Color Changes In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Autumn Color Changes In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Autumn color changes were most advanced amid cold air drainage corridors of the valleys upstream of Bark Camp Lake, where cold air pools and night temperatures often get cold at elevations of over 2700 feet above sea level.

September 26, 2015
Clinch River Watershed of High Knob Massif
Wetland Valley of Little Stony Creek Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Bark Camp Lake Basin of High Knob Massif
Beauty of Little Stony Creek Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Autumn Color Changes In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Autumn Color Changes In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Valley
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Autumn Color Changes In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Wetland Valley
Hazel Alder ( Alnus serrulata ) Thicket
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Mountain White Alder
( Clethra acuminata )

is also in this area.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Jack O'Lantern Mushroom ( Omphalotus olearius )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Many different species were observed including a couple of poisonous Jack O'Lantern mushrooms, the one below looking brighter and younger.

Jack O'Lanterns undergo bioluminescence,
with a blue-green color from their gills, at night.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Another Different Jack O'Lantern Mushroom
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A fresh and partially dug out Yellowjacket nest was found along the trail, with a Fox, Skunk or Bear being the possible culprit.

September 26, 2015
Partially Dug Out Nest
Little Stony Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Eastern Yellowjacket ( Vespula maculifrons )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Part of Upper Tennessee River Basin
Turkey Tail Mushroom ( Trametes versicolor )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Bluish-Green Cup Fungi On A Stick
Possible ( Chlorociboria aeruginascens ) Species
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Low light and gusty winds made for poor shooting
conditions upon discovery of a Cardinal Flower.

September 26, 2015
Low Definition Photograph
Cardinal Flower ( Lobelia cardinalis )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Thick Vegetation In Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Valley Floor Around 2750 feet
Beauty of Little Stony Creek Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Clinch River Watershed of High Knob Massif
Beauty of Little Stony Creek Wetland Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

While water was being held behind Beaver Dams, in photographs above, portions of the wetland valley between backwaters of Bark Camp Lake and the Beaver Dams had a nearly dry stream channel.  This was mostly due to the lake level being below normal.

Was this all due to below average rainfall since August 1?

It is possible if no water was being released from the spillway ( future work on the dam is reportedly scheduled ).  Around 1.50" of rain fell in the 24-hours prior to these photographs.

September 26, 2015
Little Stony Creek Basin of High Knob Massif
Stream Channel Nearly Dry In Portions of Valley
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A diversity of ferns populate the forest floor, especially amid the cold air drainage corridors where Mixed-Mesophytic Northern Hardwoods finger down from endemic Southern Appalachian Northern Woods of upper elevations.

New York Fern 
( Parathelypteris noveboracensis )

Cinnamon Fern 
( Osmundastrum cinnamomeum )

Christmas Fern 
( Polystichum acrostichoides )

are easily visible below with
American Beech ( Fagus grandifolia )

September 26, 2015
Cold Air Drainage Corridor
Mixed-Mesophytic Northern Hardwoods
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A few other documented Fern Species here:

Northern Maidenhair Fern
( Adiantum pedatum )

Mountain Spleenwort
( Asplenium montanum )

Ebony Spleenwort
( Asplenium platyneuron )

Walking Fern
( Asplenium rhizophyllum )

Maidenhair Spleenwort
( Asplenium trichomanes )

Southern Lady Fern
( Athyrium asplenioides )

Lowland Bladder Fern
( Cystopteris protrusa )

Hay-Scented Fern
( Dennstaedtia punctilobula )

Goldie's Wood Fern
( Dryopteris goldiana )

Fancy Fern
( Dryopteris intermedia )

Marginal Wood Fern
( Dryopteris marginalis )

Fancy-Marginal Hybrid Fern
( Dryopteris intermedia × marginalis )

American Climbing Fern
( Lygodium palmatum )

Sensitive Fern
( Onoclea sensibilis )

Interrupted Fern
( Osmunda claytoniana )

Royal Fern
( Osmunda spectabilis )

Broad Beech Fern
( Phegopteris hexagonoptera )

Bracken Fern
( Pteridium aquilinum ssp. latiusculum  )

September 26, 2015
Kayaking On Bark Camp Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Early Autumn On Bark Camp Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Early Autumn On Bark Camp Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Focus Upon Kayakers Enjoying The Lake
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Bark Camp Lake of High Knob Massif
Locally Brilliant Trees Along Lake Edge
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif
Dark Trunks of Sugar Maple on Eagle Knob
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif
Huge Wild Black Cherry ( Prunus serotina )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
High Knob Lake Basin of High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

A drive from Bark Camp Lake to the High Knob Lookout proved to be a great decision as dramatic, gorgeous light developed with waves of rain moving across the mountains from the southeast.

September 26, 2015
High Knob Lookout At 5:03 PM
Dramatic View of Rain Moving Into Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.



September 26, 2015
High Knob Lookout At 5:07 PM
Dramatic View of Rain Moving Into Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
High Knob Lookout At 5:10 PM
Dramatic View of Rain Moving Into Mountains
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
High Knob Lookout View
East Toward Brumley-Beartown Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
High Knob Lookout View
North To Breaks Interstate Park-Pine Mountain
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 26, 2015
High Knob Lookout View
Southwest Across High Knob Massif-Landform
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

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