Thursday, December 28, 2017
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
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.
Those are Villosa vanuxemensis, Mountain Creekshell. It has become a rare species and is being considered for the Federal Endangered species list. 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.