Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Beauty Of Autumn 2015 In High Knob Massif


October 6, 2015
High Knob Massif
Upper Norton Reservoir of City of Norton
Beauty of Autumn Color In Benges Basin
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved




Autumn color has really come on strong above 3000 feet in the High Knob Massif with a few places approaching peak conditions.

October 6, 2015
Water Elevation 3318 feet
Upper Norton Reservoir of High Knob Massif
Beautiful Sky & Water Reflections Of Color
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Water Elevation 3318 feet
Upper Norton Reservoir of High Knob Massif
Beautiful Sky & Water Reflections Of Color
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

I always love to shoot autumn color reflected in water, with the time on this day being limited by breezy to gusty winds that tend to literally "blow away" the reflections.

October 6, 2015
Upper Norton Reservoir
Ideal Water Reflections of Autumn Color
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Autumn color began developing here back in
mid-September following cold nights in the 30s.

Reference this section for a review:
Early Autumn Color Changes In High Knob Massif

October 6, 2015
Northern Slopes of High Knob Massif
Mixed Mesophytic Northern Hardwoods
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

If light is controlled an interesting effect can be obtained by allowing the water to flow and smooth out like silk to capture reflections of autumn colors in the water.  That is an option when winds are continuously moving water and preventing the glass like still that is ideal for reflecting colors.

October 6, 2015
Upper Norton Reservoir of Powell River Basin
Using Longer Exposure To Capture Water Colors
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Light above appears to be coming out of the shoreline,
but that is merely due to the movement of water over time.







October 6, 2015
Benges Basin of High Knob Massif
Interesting Clouds Above The High Country
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Autumn Color At Upper Norton Reservoir
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
City of Norton Park - Elevation 3200 feet
Gorgeous Maple In Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
City of Norton Park - Elevation 3200 feet
Gorgeous Maple In Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Rugged Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Blaze Of Autumn Color Across Northern Slopes
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The Stone-Pickem Mountain section of the High Knob Massif was becoming a blaze of nice colors, with abundant reds this year being prominent.

October 6, 2015
Rugged Stone Mountain of High Knob Massif
Blaze Of Autumn Color Across Northern Slopes
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Stone-Pickem Mountain of High Knob Massif
Beautiful Color In Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Developing Color On SW-W Facing Slopes
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A notable contrast in autumn color could easily 
be seen between the northern slopes and cold air drainages of the massif and distance hollows and slopes of along the Wise Plateau.

October 6, 2015
Colorful Cold Air Drainage Alone Cliffs
Color Contrast Between Wise Plateau & Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Colorful Cold Air Drainage Alone Cliffs
Color Contrast Between Wise Plateau & Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Colorful Cold Air Drainage Alone Cliffs
Color Contrast Between Wise Plateau & Massif
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Conditions began to get interesting as sunset approached, with nice orographic wave clouds initially developing over the massif around 40 minutes before sunset.

October 6, 2015
Northern Slopes of High Knob Massif
Wide Angle View of Orographic Wave Clouds
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Northern Slopes of High Knob Massif
Red Cast Toward Sunset Upon Autumn Colors
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

As sunset approached a red cast made the mountain look even more colorful as shadows grew increasingly large and deeper in the gorge beneath the overlook.

Sunset in the mountains is determined by when it drops beneath the mountain horizon and not by the astronomical setting.  For some deep hollows-gorges-valleys this occurs hours before true sunset, especially as sun angles get lower and lower on the horizon into winter.

October 6, 2015
Northern Slopes of High Knob Massif
Shadow Climbs Higher Toward Mountain Sunset
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved







Glorious Sunset Period

Photographs in this section follow time from
beginning to end of the colorful sunset period.

October 6, 2015
Sunset From Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Observe that the FAA Radar Dome on Black Mountain is visible in
the above photograph, as a round ball-like object along the crestline.

October 6, 2015
Sunset From Flag Rock Recreation Area
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Beauty of this sunset from Flag Rock Recreation Area, defined by sinking of the sun beneath Black Mountain on the mountain horizon, marked only the beginning of a glorious show.

October 6, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Glory In The Heavens - Clouds & Colors
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Glory In The Heavens - Clouds & Colors
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Glory In The Heavens - Clouds & Colors
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

An amazing aspect is continuous changes in light that occur rapidly around sunset ( amid the pre to post sunset period ).

October 6, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Glory In The Heavens - Clouds & Colors
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 6, 2015
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Glory In The Heavens - Clouds & Colors
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved






2015 Precipitation Update

October 8, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Mushroom Growing On Underside of Cherry Birch
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Many fungi species are growing well in wake of recent wetness.

My friend and Superintendent Gary Hampton reported 3.86" of October 1-5 rainfall at the Town of Big Stone Gap Water Plant to boost the 2015 Year-to-date tally to 52.45" .

October 8, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Tiny Mushroom Growing On Decaying Birch
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

This is just a little more than the 51.95" reported by Superintendent Andrew Greear and staff of the City of Norton Water Plant in 2015 ( to October 5 ).

October 8, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Turkey-tail Polypore ( Trametes versicolor )
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

A general 55.00" to 60.00" of precipitation have fallen across the high country of the High Knob Massif this year ( January 1-October 5 ).

Big Cherry Lake Dam
Monthly Precipitation Totals
Observer: Gary Hampton
Water Elevation 3120 feet

2015

January: 2.87"

February: 8.07"

March: 8.13"

April: 6.13"

May: 1.51"

June: 5.73"

July: 9.26"

August: 3.70"

September: 6.06"

October 1-5: 4.28"

2015 Total: 55.74" ( M )
( January 1-October 5 )

12-Month Total: 74.29" ( M )
( Monthly Average of 6.19" Per Month )

( M ) - Indicates missing data due to evaporation between
hand-measurements throughout the year and from losses in
deep snowfall during the cold season.

October 8, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Polypore On Decaying Cherry Birch
Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

Despite the 10.34" of rain measured at Big Cherry Dam during the September 7-October 5 period the lake remains a couple feet below its spillway in wake of a much drier than average August.

Recent rains falling upon the forested watershed have been partially
taken up by trees, soils, and sequestered away into major subterranean conduits systems in the High Knob Massif.

October 8, 2015
Powell River Basin of High Knob Massif
Rock From The Greenbrier Limestone Formation
 Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

The Limestone is capped by resistant Quartz-arenite Sandstone
rock stratas, some of which form ledges and cliffs.

October 8, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Quartz Sandstone With Feldspar
 Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 8, 2015
A Gilled Mushroom Species
 Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

October 8, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Fly Species ( Muscidae Family )
 Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved

One thing I really like about Macro Photography 
is the poster-like backgrounds generated when 
one is super-tight on the main subject.

While this fly looks exactly the same in these two photographs the
background color is a little different, adding variety to the shots.

October 8, 2015
Cumberland Mountains
Fly Species ( Muscidae Family )
 Photograph by Wayne Browning - © All Rights Reserved.

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