Monday, March 26, 2018

March of the Salamanders

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Perfect Weather for...Spotted Salamander Love

Saw this little guy Saturday morning. We've had a lot of rain and continued drizzle so the puddles are full. This one is spring fed and will continue to have water well into the summer. So far we can see chorus frogs and spotted salamander eggs.  I have no idea what the solitary eggs are. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


More photos as I get to them. Check out the drooping and curling rhododendron hanging out over the left side of the falls. They droop at 25 degrees F and curl tightly by 20 degrees F. The technical name for this movement is thermonasty. There is a whole study of "nastic" movement in plants. It's complicated.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Walk Around the Yard

We took a tortuous route along the bottom of the highest wall above Whites Creek Gorge. I had wanted to take a photo of this little rock house that may have been used by coal miners, moonshiners or both. We have located several of these primitive dwellings but this one is unusual in that the hearth is against the cliff instead of the colder exposed side. Smoke darkening can be seen above on the rock wall, though the holly tree is beginning to hide it. I wish I could go back in time and take a photo of it in it's days of usage. There are some old boards and metal pipe along side it and a water supply from a falling spring just a few yards away.

These formations always fascinate me. I'm curious as to the geological mechanism that creates them. This one is in a cavity in the cliff.

Just playing with the panorama feature on our little walk around camera. It was around 28 degrees at this point in the late afternoon. With the cold weather ahead, I'm really looking forward to some icicle hunting along Ford Branch.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Why We Must Protect Whites Creek

Merry Christmas Gerry!

See if these small files tell you enough. I can send the full size file if you need them. They were washed onto the cobble bar about 100 yards above our pavilion site on Whites Creek. They were very fresh with remnants of flesh still attached. I suspect some lucky bird found his dinner right before we go there. 



Hey Steve:

Those are Villosa vanuxemensis, Mountain Creekshell. A few years ago during a fundraiser at your creek for CFI, Peggy Shute found a live individual of this species near on your place, and it was the first record for Whites Creek. We put it back and I made a note that the species was found there, and was hoping someday to come back and look some more because there could be other species there. Any chance you could donate these shells to the UT mollusk collection?


By the way, one of those is female the other is male.