Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You Say Jessamine, I Say Jasmine

I've always heard it called jasmine in the South that I've lived in. This is one of the domesticated cultivars but it is a native plant. The flowers are quite poisonous and deliciously fragrant. This was taken just a few minutes ago in the soft morning light.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Coal Mine Exploration

Our little pipistrelle bat was still hanging out  in the mine when we went back with headlamps today. We went past where the mine forks, with the right fork being more of a room with wood posts jammed between the floor and ceiling. Several had failed so we decided that wasn't the way to go. We stayed on the main shaft (horizontal) and found a rail structure made of wood. This surprised us but we've since done research and found pictures of wood wheeled carts and wood rails used in European mines in the 1700's and early 1800's. We're thinking this mine is pre civil war but more work needs to be done to set any date. It could be much later and more indicative of the poverty in East TN after the civil war than anything else. I would appreciate any info anyone might have on this.

We noticed that little needle like crystals were on the wood in places. We found them on pieces of coal as well. Any idea as to what they could be? My Google-foo isn't working on them so far.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Today's Walk

It was too nice to stay near the house today so we took a little walk. We wound up going along the old coal mining shelf and followed it past where the flat (ish) part ends. There is an old trail cut that is way too steep for any motorized coal hauler so we're thinking this is old enough to be for mules and donkeys. We were surprised to find a mine that went under one of the rock cliffs. It is about 5 feet high and goes further back than I was willing to go without a head lamp.

Yes, that is a bat. "That's an eastern pipistrelle/tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus)" reports Dr. Brian Carver of Tennessee Tech. I had no idea such a beastie existed, but I'm proud to have his home in a protected area. This shot gives us a clues as to its name, "tricolored".

We found several new patches of bloodroot. It is now officially spring.