Monday, May 1, 2023

Spring 2023_High Knob Massif Area

6 May 2023

As the mountain landscape comes alive its time 
for the annual Pine Mountain Naturalist Rally, sponsored by the High Knob Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists, where everyone is invited 
and welcome to enjoy the natural world.

29 April 2023
Pine Mountain in Wise County
Wetland Near Naturalist Rally
Wayne Browning_iPhone Photograph

Many species of flora and fauna will be heard, observed, and discussed within this majestic setting nestled along the base of rugged Pine Mountain in northern Wise County, Virginia.

29 April 2023
(Cypripedium acaule)
Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid
Jessica Bier & Wayne Browning_iPhone Photograph

Reference the Orchids & Natural History section.

There will be geology and salt making, as well as a variety of featured hikes and discussions.  A few on the schedule this year include:

Birds and Fungi
9:00 to 10:30 AM

Butterflies & Insects
10:30 to 11:30 AM

Bat Diversity
11:30 AM to Noon

*Featured Presentation*
The Petra Project
1:00 PM

Wildflower Hike 
2:30 PM

The featured presentation this year will be given 
by Adam Pritchard, paleontologist from the Virginia Museum of Natural History, who will discuss the Petra Project(*). 

*The amazing discovery and recovery of an incredible Pleistocene cat skeleton from a cave near the southwest terminus of the great High Knob Massif.

29 April 2023
(Actaea pachypoda)
White Baneberry or Doll's-eye
Jessica Bier & Wayne Browning_iPhone Photograph

Visible beauty is often a transitory expression associated with reproductive strategies in many 
of these interconnected, complex species.

29 April 2023
Wild Comfrey
(Cynoglossum virginianum)
Jessica Bier & Wayne Browning_iPhone Photograph

Interconnected life cycles are to be thought of as occurring within 4-dimensions, three dimensional space + time.

**(Acanthocephala terminalis) on
Wild Comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum)
Wayne Browning Photograph © All Rights Reserved

**After he flew off the leaf above, to the ground, I turned him in different directions, as I could see he was headed west, and with every turn he would move in a way that took him west (no matter what direction I turned him he immediately shifted back to walking in a west direction).

Ratsnake (Elaphe obsoleta)
Jessica Bier_iPhone Photograph

28 April 2023
Glade Fern (Homalosorus pycnocarpos)
Jessica Bier & Wayne Browning_iPhone Photograph

Sweet Pinesap (Monotropsis odorata)
Jessica Bier_iPhone Photograph

Spring Transformation

This beautiful view is looking northeast across Powell Valley from Big Stone Gap toward Powell Valley Overlook.