Sunday, September 20, 2015

Early Autumn Color Changes In High Knob Massif


September 19, 2015
Water Elevation 3318 Feet
Early Color Changes In High Knob Massif
Afternoon Beauty At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Beautiful water reflections included low 
hanging cumulus and early color changes.

The High Knob Landform

The High Knob Landform WebCite Permalink

The Appalachian Climate Center

September 19, 2015
Early Color Changes In High Knob Massif
Afternoon Beauty At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Cold nights during the past week have accelerated color changes in the high country of the High Knob Massif, with gorgeous afternoon conditions observed Saturday ( September 19 ).

September 19, 2015
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Early Autumn Color Changes In High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 19, 2015
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Early Autumn Color Changes In High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 19, 2015
Water Elevation 3318 Feet
Beautiful Reflections On Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Elevation 3325 Feet
September 19, 2015 at 3:23 PM
Large Yellow Birch ( Betula alleghaniensis )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Yellow Birch is locally large and fingers downward amid these cold air drainages to near the valley floors of Norton, Coeburn, and adjacent locations where air drains downward out of the massif.

I have called these Mixed-Mesophytic Northern Hardwood corridors that finger downward from the endemic Southern Appalachian Northern Woods of upper elevations.

Check this section for more information:
Natural Communities & Cold Air Drainages

September 19, 2015
Benges Basin of Powell River
Northern Slopes of High Knob Massif
Beech-Birch-Maple-Ash-Lycopodium-Lichens
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The flora of Benges Basin, and northern exposed slopes of the High Knob Massif in general, is rich Mixed-Mesophytic Forest featuring many northern species with intermixed species having southern and locally disjunct affinities.

Elevation 3322 Feet
September 19, 2015 at 4:26 PM
Striped Maple ( Acer pensylvanicum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Just A Few Canopy Species Here Include:

Sugar Maple 
( Acer saccharum )

Yellow Birch 
( Betula alleghaniensis )

White Ash
( Fraxinus americana )

American Beech 
( Fagus grandifolia )

Northern Red Oak 
( Quercus rubra var. borealis )

Sourwood 
( Oxydendrum arboreum )

Red Maple
Acer rubrum )

White Pine
( Pinus strobus )

*Many tree species that form the canopy are also in the under-story, growing along with shrubs and the many ferns and herbaceous plant species.

September 19, 2015
Upper Norton Reservoir at 4:20 PM
Sourwood & Red Maple - Understory Examples
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Just A Few Under-Story Species Here Include:

Striped Maple
Acer pensylvanicum )

Mountain Pepperbush
( Clethra acuminata )

*Sourwood 
Oxydendrum arboreum )

Red Maple
( Acer rubrum )

Great Rhododendron
( Rhododendron maximum )

Christmas Fern
( Polystichum acrostichoides )

New York Fern
( Thelypteris noveboracensis )

Cinnamon Fern 
( Osmunda cinnamomea var. cinnamomea )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Sensitive Fern 
( Onoclea sensibilis )

White Turtlehead 
( Chelone glabra )

September 19, 2015
Upper Norton Reservoir of High Knob Massif
Broad-leaved Goldenrod ( Solidago flexicaulis )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Boneset
( Eupatorium spp. )

Joe-Pye Weed
( Eutrochium spp. )

White Aster
( Symphyotrichum spp. )

September 19, 2015
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Beautiful Clouds Form Over High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The most brilliant maple, or at least one of the most, observed all
day can be seen to the left side of the spillway in this photograph.

Beautiful cumulus which literally developed right above the massif as air was being forced to rise across the high country, beneath high altitude cirrus, created an awesome setting which foreshadowed the show that would later be observed around sunset.

September 19, 2015
Upper Tennessee River Basin
Early Autumn Color Changes In High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.






Some nice and bright early color is showing across the lofty basins where cold air drains into at night.

September 19, 2015
Early Color Changes In High Knob Lake Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The September 14-17 period featured nights in the 30s to lower 40s
amid the lofty valleys and basins of this high country.

Early color changes have been common since I began keeping track of this area in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Reference the end of this section for details:
High Knob Massif - Peak Color Periods In Upper Elevations

September 19, 2015
Peak of High Knob Massif
Autumn Conditions At High Knob Lookout
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 19, 2015
Peak of High Knob Massif
Autumn Conditions In High Knob Meadow
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Conditions were breezy to gusty & cool atop the crest zone with late afternoon temps in the 60s.

September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Focus On Crepuscular Rays Of Sunshine
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Looking West
September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Approaching Sunset From High Knob Lookout
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 19, 2015
Early Autumn Conditions In High Knob Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Looking Southwest
September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Colors Develop Before Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

An increase in orographic clouds toward 
sunset created some rather dramatic scenes.

September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Colors Develop Before Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

The mass of clouds below developed some terrain forced rotation as
air flowed across the massif.  This view is looking northeast-east
( the Eagle Knob Communications Complex is on far left ).

September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Colors Develop Before Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Gorgeous Colors Develop Before Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

While plenty of awesome color decorated the sky before sunset it was actually blocked by clouds at the time when it dropped beneath the crestline of Black Mountain.

*When skies are clear the sun can be caught sitting momentarily upon the crestline of Black Mountain just prior to its astronomical setting.

September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Colors-Haze Fill Sky As Sun Drops Below Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Increasing haze observed during late afternoon gave way to stronger winds overnight along a cold frontal boundary with 0.25" to 0.50" of rain that locally fell in the High Knob Massif.  Low cloud bases on upslope flow dominated September 20 with temps that held in the 50s all day above 2500-3000 feet.

September 19, 2015
Crest Zone of High Knob Massif
Sun Blocked By Clouds At Setting Time
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.





Additional Early Autumn Species

September 23, 2015
Native Species of Cumberland Mountains
Blue Monkshood ( Aconitum uncinatum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Some additional early autumn species currently being observed in the Cumberland Mountains include the beautiful Monkshood and many varieties of Asters.

September 23, 2015
Native Species of Cumberland Mountains
White Aster ( Symphyotrichum spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 23, 2015
Garden Phlox ( Phlox spp. ) And Spider Web
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 23, 2015
Bracket Polypore Fungus
Possible Artist's Conk ( Ganoderma applanatum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

Late Summer 2015
Growing on American Beech ( Fagus grandifolia )
Northern Tooth Fungus ( Climacodon septentrionale )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 24, 2015
High Definition Photograph
Blue Monkshood Aconitum uncinatum )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 24, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Virgin’s-bower ( Clematis virginiana )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 24, 2015
High Definition Photograph
Great Blue Lobelia ( Lobelia siphilitica )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

September 24, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
White Aster ( Symphyotrichum spp. )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.




This section is under construction.  Check back for updates.

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