Friday, December 07, 2012

Season's Greeting from Conservation Fisheries

One of my favorite organizations has put together a collage of rivers and creeks they have worked in over the last year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big Tree

We walked up to this old Hemlock yesterday. There are larger trees out there but this one is pretty big. My woodsman guess-timation has it at just under 100 feet tall with a crown of 54 feet in width. I need to take a 100 foot tape and inclinometer out there to get something more accurate, but I'm pretty close. Been an engineer too long. This one will get the treatment when the adelgids hit it. If(When) we lose all the hemlocks in the gorge it will change everything.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New Wasp

So we keep badminton racquets posted around the decks to help with the over population of carpenter bees, which are actually eating our house. They haven't been that much of a problem lately, which is different. So I was out on the back porch and these blades of grass poking out of a bee hole in the white pine ceiling caught my eye.

Then this beastie wandered into view. Anybody have any idea what it is and if it is actually predating on the bee larvae?

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Day Before Palooza

So I invite a few folks out to snorkel and we get kayaking levels. Maybe some folks will want to bring tubes and life jackets.
Here's the blue hole at 11 am Friday.
 Here's what the peace flag and 680 mailbox look like. Get ready to turn right.

30 feet past the mailbox go up there for a couple of hundred yards.
If you miss that turn here's the last one. Turn right and we're up there somewhere.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mountain Camellias Are Going Off at Whites Creek

This one is a few hundred yards from our house. It seems to have some disease that is warping the leaves but the flowers are wonderful. This bloom is several centimeters wider than the 6-8cm called for in the yellow stamen variety and closer to the 12 cm called for in the purple stamen varient. See Stewartia ovata.

We found three in bloom and two smaller plants. We tagged them at the request of our botanist friends who want to try propagating them. We'll see. Here's the Tree Trail link.

Signs of the Season

The Dobson fly is the adult helgramite. The elongated jaws don't pack the punch of the larval jaws but they still aren't much fun as I found out. This male was almost 5 inches long. 
Both of these shots are from yesterday evening. 

Hummingbirds love these trumpet vines and fly right inside the flower to feed.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Endangered Species Day!

Friday I got to swim along with some associates who raised and released several bags full of rare and endangered Conasauga Log perch into the birthplace of their ancestors, their natural and only home, the Conasauga River near the Tennessee Georgia border. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the story.

The orange stripe is a dye marker injected by the CFI staff so that each fish can be documented if it is ever seen again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

What's A Scud?

The small tributaries to Whites Creek are populated with all sorts of interesting creatures. While the large ones get all the hype, the small ones are sometimes more important to the food chain and are indicators of the health of the ecosystem. Most folks don't know that there is a tiny shrimp like beastie called a "scud" living in the mossy water's edge. I find them by turning over moss covered rocks in the small streams of Whites Creek Gorge.

Pictures and other stuff about Scuds

If you're nice, later, I'll tell you about the jelly fish that live here. Really! I didn't know either until we found them swimming around in the hot summer water.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Blue Branch

These shots are from last Wednesday. The area is about three miles upstream of Whites Creek global headquarters.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring on Fleet Feet

The spring flowers are screaming by at an advanced rate this year. This round lobed Hepatica has already gone away and I just took the shot three days ago. Get out there and breathe deeply, and do it now!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Wildflowers

A round leaf hepatica nods as it wakes up to the day. If the wind holds down I'll try to get a full "facial" of this beautiful spring jewel.

Often used as a spring tonic back in the day when spring tonics were the rule, Yellow root has a beautiful flower that's hard to catch. A tea made from the roots is loaded with vitamin C and is as distasteful as it is healthy.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Preventing Environmental Destruction In Sate Parks Is "Discrimination"

I can't believe this article and the statements made by these folks. Get those emails to TWRA going folks.
"Parts of the [Wildlife Management Area] resemble a moonscape, void of vegetation, wildlife and stream aquatic species, once plentiful there," ...
So Cummings Cove actually is closed to any vehicles, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Lt. Joe Busch said.
"We haven't enforced that law since we took over [in 2006]," he said. "We're not looking to start enforcing it at this time. Will we enforce it in the future? I don't know."... 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Evening Flight to Wisconsin

Taken at 6 pm March 1, 2012 from the deck at Whites Creek Global Headquarters.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fossil Fuel Extraction Endangered List

The list includes a beautiful fish that the team at Conservation Fisheries is working hard to save:
Kentucky Arrow Darter: Toxic waste from mountaintop coal mining is poisoning streams and killing the rare Kentucky arrow darter fish (and contaminating the drinking water of downstream communities). The arrow darter has been wiped out from more than half of its range.
The full list and story is here...

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Today at Hiwassee Refuge

We did get a view of the Hooded Cane as it flew by but nothing to show a picture of. We had a Whooping crane for a few minutes until it turned into an albinistic Sandhill crane...a rare enough white colored sandhill but not a Whooper.
I was amazed at the number of folks from foreign states and even countries that were hanging around. Some folks had been there for ten hours when we arrived. The light was pretty marginal for photos, as you can see from the above.