Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Early Summer 2022_High Knob Massif


06 June 2022
High Knob Massif
Looking Across High Knob Lake Basin
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Building cumulus clouds and increasing haze was a signal that more showers and thunderstorms would be coming to the high country.

08 June 2022
Afternoon Downpour of Early Summer
Crossing High Knob Massif Into Wise
UVA-Wise Computer Science-Mathematics Department

                          Black Lives Matter Statement

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This comes on the heels of chilly nights in recent days with June minumum temperatures dipping into the upper 30s to lower 40s in mid-upper elevation mountain basins of the massif.

06 June 2022
High Knob Massif
Looking Into High Knob Lake Basin
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

While May had above average rainfall, precipitation for Spring 2022 was well 
below the longer-term average.

Precipitation Update

High Knob Massif
(Upper Elevations)

(Totals Listed By AM Measurement Format)
Monthly Total Precipitation
Big Cherry Lake Dam
(Elevation 3139 feet)

2019

January
6.14"

February
12.50"

Winter 2018-19
(1 Dec-29 Feb)
26.56"

March
5.93"

April
6.64"

May
6.75"

Spring 2019
(1 Mar-31 May)
19.32"

June
10.68"

July
10.77"

August
4.15"

Summer 2019
(1 Jun-31 Aug)
25.60"

September
0.63"

October
5.01"
( 5.89" to Midnight 31st )

November
5.20"
( 7.04" to Midnight 30th )

Autumn 2019
(1 Sep-31 Oct)
10.84"

December
8.52"

2019 Total: 82.92" (M)
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)


2020

*January
7.15"

**February
13.01"

Winter 2019-20
(1 Dec-29 Feb)
28.68"

March
9.55"
( 10.77" to Midnight 31st )

April
11.59"

May
8.73"
(6.90" on Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif)

Spring 2020
(1 Mar-31 May)
29.87"

June
7.48"

July
9.72"
(10.48" to Midnight 31st)

August
8.12"

Summer 2020
(1 Jun-31 Aug)
25.32"

September
6.21"

October 
7.06"

November 
1.96"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 0.5")

Autumn 2020
(1 Sep-31 Oct)
15.23"

December 
6.22"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 34.0")

2020 Total: 96.80" (M)
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)


2021

January
6.35"
***(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 34.0")

February
7.42"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 19.5")

Winter 2020-21
(1 Dec to 28 Feb)
19.99"
(21.70" on Eagle Knob)

March
10.82"
(11.14" to Midnight 31st)

April
2.53"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 2.5")

May
4.54"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: Trace)

Spring 2021
(1 Mar-31 May)
17.89"

June
4.79"

July
5.55"

August
10.39"

Summer 2021
(1 June-31 August)
20.73"

September
5.82"

October
3.80"

November
2.23"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 1.5")
3 days with 1" or more depth

Autumn 2021
(1 Sep-30 Nov)
11.85"

December
4.63"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 1.0")
Several days with Trace depths

2021 Total: 68.87"
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)


2022

January
8.74"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 40.0")
29 days with 1" or more depth

February
10.32"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 3.5")
14 days with 1" or more depth

Winter 2021-22
(1 Dec to 28 Feb)
23.69"

March
4.23"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 13.5")
8 days with 1" or more depth

April
3.28"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 9.0")
5 days with 1" or more depth

May
7.98"

Spring 2022
(1 Mar to 31 May)
15.49"

2022 Total: 34.55"
 (January 1 to May 31 Period)

November 2019-October 2020: 102.34"

Autumn 2018 to Summer 2019: 91.21"

Autumn 2019 to Summer 2020: 94.44"

Autumn 2020 to Summer 2021: 73.84"

(M): Some missing moisture in undercatch and frozen precipitation, with partial corrections applied for the 24.4 meter (80 feet) tall dam structure where rain gauges are located.  Corrections are based upon 86-months of direct comparisons between NWS and IFLOWS at Big Cherry Dam (including occasional snow core-water content data).


Breeding Bird Season 2022

June marks the breeding season for bird species 
in the high country and I have started a survey of existing species.

06 June 2022

I created an identification guide to the sound recording below, with specific species noted for specific times during this short recording.


NOTE: While the species sounds are exact on my original recording, upon uploading to this online media player they are now off by approximately 1-2 seconds.  In other words, add a second or two to the guide times to be more precise.

As noted in the guide, this was a mid-late afternoon survey and a typical down-time for singing birds.

I was pleased to obtain this many birds.  Official early morning Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) will begin in coming days.

This section is under construction.  Please check back. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Late Spring 2022_High Knob Massif


Pine Mountain Naturalist Rally


Come celebrate one of the southern 
Appalachians most magnificient 
natural features on 7 May 2022.

Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

The beauty of Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids (Cypripedium acaule) should be on full 
display, along with many other species
of flora and fauna.

Wild Geranium (Geranium spp.)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Hope to see you there.
 
------------------------

28 April 2022
Flag Rock Recreation Area
Early Spring Conditions in Late Spring
Pickem Mountain of High Knob Massif
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

At the dawn of late Spring 2022 the upper two-thirds of the High Knob Massif remains in late winter-early spring conditions.

                         Black Lives Matter Statement

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This is in contrast to the lower third of the massif where spring emergence is advancing to generate gradients that support wondrous biodiversity.

28 April 2022
Lower Third of Massif
Looking Toward Head of Powell Valley
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Complex System Science (CSS) dictates that a continuous flow (flux) of mass, energy, momentum, and materials across gradients is what leads to self-organization and emergence in hierarchical, nested systems.  This acts to maintain these systems within states far removed from equilibrium.

28 April 2022
View from Flag Rock Recreation Area
Black Mountain FAA Station on Horizon
Looking Across Little Stone Mountain Gap
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

From this perspective, the High Knob Massif is a living organism nested within the Climate (Earth) System of this planet and the universe.

28 April 2022
Little Stone Mountain Gap
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Biological organisms are capable of functioning in states far removed from equilibrium as they take in energy, process it and then export entropy to their surroundings.  Death occurs only when they enter 
into a state of equilibrium and entropy reaches a maximum as the degree of freedom is reduced 
to a minimum.

Golden-seal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

While the High Knob Massif possesses an enormous diversity of biological organisms, it 
also functions at a higher level where energy input is not proportional to energy output.  This acts to maintain 3-D gradients that drive mass, energy, momentum, and material movements across 
space and time to cause the landform to continuously undergo evolution.

Precipitation Update

High Knob Massif
(Upper Elevations)

(Totals Listed By AM Measurement Format)
Monthly Total Precipitation
Big Cherry Lake Dam
(Elevation 3139 feet)

2019

January
6.14"

February
12.50"

Winter 2018-19
(1 Dec-29 Feb)
26.56"

March
5.93"

April
6.64"

May
6.75"

Spring 2019
(1 Mar-31 May)
19.32"

June
10.68"

July
10.77"

August
4.15"

Summer 2019
(1 Jun-31 Aug)
25.60"

September
0.63"

October
5.01"
( 5.89" to Midnight 31st )

November
5.20"
( 7.04" to Midnight 30th )

Autumn 2019
(1 Sep-31 Oct)
10.84"

December
8.52"

2019 Total: 82.92" (M)
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)


2020

*January
7.15"

**February
13.01"

Winter 2019-20
(1 Dec-29 Feb)
28.68"

March
9.55"
( 10.77" to Midnight 31st )

April
11.59"

May
8.73"
(6.90" on Eagle Knob of High Knob Massif)

Spring 2020
(1 Mar-31 May)
29.87"

June
7.48"

July
9.72"
(10.48" to Midnight 31st)

August
8.12"

Summer 2020
(1 Jun-31 Aug)
25.32"

September
6.21"

October 
7.06"

November 
1.96"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 0.5")

Autumn 2020
(1 Sep-31 Oct)
15.23"

December 
6.22"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 34.0")

2020 Total: 96.80" (M)
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)


2021

January
6.35"
***(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 34.0")

February
7.42"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 19.5")

Winter 2020-21
(1 Dec to 28 Feb)
19.99"
(21.70" on Eagle Knob)

March
10.82"
(11.14" to Midnight 31st)

April
2.53"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 2.5")

May
4.54"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: Trace)

Spring 2021
(1 Mar-31 May)
17.89"

June
4.79"

July
5.55"

August
10.39"

Summer 2021
(1 June-31 August)
20.73"

September
5.82"

October
3.80"

November
2.23"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 1.5")
3 days with 1" or more depth

Autumn 2021
(1 Sep-30 Nov)
11.85"

December
4.63"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 1.0")
Several days with Trace depths

2021 Total: 68.87"
 (January 1 to December 31 Period)


2022

January
8.74"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 40.0")
29 days with 1" or more depth

February
10.32"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 3.5")
14 days with 1" or more depth

Winter 2021-22
(1 Dec to 28 Feb)
23.69"

March
4.23"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 13.5")
8 days with 1" or more depth

April
3.28"
(Eagle Knob Snowfall: 9.0")
5 days with 1" or more depth

2022 Total: 26.57"
 (January 1 to April 30 Period)

November 2019-October 2020: 102.34"

Autumn 2018 to Summer 2019: 91.21"

Autumn 2019 to Summer 2020: 94.44"

Autumn 2020 to Summer 2021: 73.84"

(M): Some missing moisture in undercatch and frozen precipitation, with partial corrections applied for the 24.4 meter (80 feet) tall dam structure where rain gauges are located.  Corrections are based upon 86-months of direct comparisons between NWS and IFLOWS at Big Cherry Dam (including occasional snow core-water content data).


Flag Rock Recreation Area
(Sunset Scenes on 28 April 2022)

Majestic light rays were part of a gorgeous sunset from Flag Rock Recreation Area on 28 April 2022.

28 April 2022
Majestic Rays of Light
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Light rays were fleeting and the sunset 
quality uncertain due to so many clouds.

28 April 2022
Flag Rock Recreation Area Sunset
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Air was chilly and conditions fitting for this elevation at the dawn of late Spring 2022.

28 April 2022
Flag Rock Recreation Area Sunset
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

28 April 2022
Landscape In Fading Light
Flag Rock Recreation Area Sunset
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved


Spring Wildflowers

02 May 2022
Lynda Hubbard's Wild Flowers 
Beauty of Appalachian Wildflowers
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Folks living in the Appalachians are blessed to have natural flower gardens surrounding their homes, if only they are allowed to grow in native habitats.

02 May 2022
European Lily-of-the-Valley
(Convallaria majalis) is Non-Native
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Non-native species have become part of this flora, with some like  European Lily-of-the-Valley being similar to native species.

02 May 2022
Foamflower (Tiarella cordiforlia)
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Many of these flowers were past their prime, 
having been beaten by rain, but still lovely.

Lynda has allowed these beautiful species to live and flourish, creating a peaceful, backyard setting.

02 May 2022
Aging (Trillium grandiflorum)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Trillium grandiflorum often develops a gorgeous blush of pink as it ages, it is not a different species.

02 May 2022
(Trillium grandiflorum)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved


Along Pine Mountain
(Late Spring 2022)

09 May 2022
An Afternoon Moon Rise
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

An afternoon Moon rise is especially 
nice against emerging spring vegetation.

09 May 2022
Black-and-White Image
Fields of Buttercups Along Pine Mountain
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Every little speck seen in the foreground 
and well beyond is a buttercup. Amazing.

09 May 2022
Black-and-White Image
Fields of Buttercups Along Pine Mountain
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

I chose a black-and-white composite to illustrate a vast array of tiny buttercups across the pastures adjacent to Pine Mountain.

09 May 2022
Farm Pond Framed Against Pine Mountain
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

There is nothing better to clear the mind 
than a drive along a peaceful backroad.

09 May 2022
Majestic White Oak (Quercus alba)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

09 May 2022
Looking To Birch Knob of Pine Mountain
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

09 May 2022
Looking Northwest
Majestic Mountain Farm
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

09 May 2022
Looking Southwest
Majestic Mountain Farm
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved


Orchids & Natural History

15 May 2022
(Cypripedium acaule)
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Of the 3 dozen or so orchid species across the area, several beauties have, are, or will be blooming in various places across the mountain landscape.

15 May 2022
(Cypripedium acaule)
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Orchids possess a long evolutionary history that led to the amazing diversity and complexity observed today in the Appalachians and across the planet.

15 May 2022
(Cypripedium acaule)
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids that grow in the 
High Knob Massif tend to be significantly larger than those that grow within the drier Russell Fork of Big Sandy River basin and along Pine Mountain.

15 May 2022
(Cypripedium acaule)
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Climate, geomorphology (topography, soil type, geology) and light collectively act to impact specific characteristics of any given plant or population.

18 May 2022
(Cypripedium acaule)
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

The plant on the left (above) is receiving more light than the one on the right, with the beautiful fused "moccasin" petal being much brighter and glowing on the more illuminated plant.

18 May 2022
(Cypripedium acaule)
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Observe the highly pubescent peduncles, leaves, 
sepals, petals, and bract of these magnificent plants.

18 May 2022
(Cypripedium acaule)
Observe Large Basal Leaves
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

It is important to note that all orchid photographs were taken outside, in the natural environment, with no disturbance to the plants.


Additional Species

The first Mountain Laurels are beginning 
to also bloom at lower-middle elevations.

18 May 2022
(Kalmia latifolia)
First Mountain Laurel Blooms
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

The first Tulip-tree blossoms are beginning.  Observe the awesome beauty of this bloom.

18 May 2022
(Liriodendron tulipifera)
First Tulip-tree Blossoms
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

Photograph: 8 second exposure at f/16
Lens: AF-S Micro Nikkor 105 mm 1:2.8 

This photograph of a Tulip-tree blossom was taken inside under a controlled setting.  The bloom had fallen off a tree and was somewhat bent and wilted, but good enough to illustrate its beauty.

21 May 2022
(Maianthemum racemosum)
Focus on False Solomon's-seal Panicle 
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

21 May 2022
Luther Mullins Rhododendrons
Cultivated Rhododendron (Pink Variety)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

21 May 2022
Luther Mullins Rhododendrons
Cultivated Rhododendrons (White Variety)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

21 May 2022
America Mae Mullins Flower
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

24 May 2022
Ron & Lynda Hubbard's Pink Peony
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

24 May 2022
Spring Red Roses
Lynda Hubbard Flower Garden
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved


This section is under construction.  Please check back.