Monday, April 18, 2011

April 16&17, 2011 Spring Showers&Flowers RockFest2

Saturday and Sunday
April 16&17, 2011
RockFest 2 Spring Deluge
Spring Flowers


The Mid-Atlantic Climbers hosted their second service day in the park.

It was unfortunate but the weather was not cooperative with torrential rains and tornado warning on the day set aside for cleaning up litter.    None-the-less a few intrepid folks put on their rain gear and spent the day cleaning up litter.  

An early morning meeting as the teams prepare.

Since the photographers do not get in many pictures I thought I would get a couple of them.

Awesome zip-lock baggy rain gear MacGyver'ld over the camera.

Old Rag Mountain Stewards (ORMS)
I ran down to my day with the ORMS which was all about plants.

A partial list of the plants we were taught to identify included; Sarsaparilla, Sassafras, Wild Geranium, May Apple, Trillium, Blood Root, Yellow Birch, Tulip Popular, White Oak, Sycamore, Fiddlehead Fern, Frasier Magnolia, Hickory.

The park called us and asked us to shelter in place while some weather with the potential to generate tornadoes passed over.

The CCC stairs on the Saddle Trail were a delightful miniature waterfall.

The amount of rain that had come down over the afternoon was second only to a day in 1996 and all of the brooks and streams were full to capacity and overflowing in many spots.

At a spot just past the Sharp Rock Road and VA 601 was under about three feet of fast moving water so you had to use Sharp Rock Road to get out to VA 231.   For a sense of the volume and force of the water check out this short video on You Tube:

Personal Hikes With RockFest 2 Volunteers and then by myself on Old Rag.

Old Rag as seen from Skyline drive early on Sunday morning.   After taking this 6:30 AM shot I went back to Pinnacles Research Station and helped the RockFest 2 folks with breakfast, take down and clean up.  

After we finished at Pinnacle Research Station I joined a group that were doing a circuit hike of Little Stonyman, Stonyman, and back on the Passamaquody Trail.   I  wanted to get to the Old Rag Contact Station before the Rangers left for the day so I only did an up and back to the top of the Little Stonyman cliffs and then headed down to the Old Rag Contact Station.  

The Redbuds are blossoming.  This is a good indicator that snakes will be exiting their  hibernaculums.

The Swallowtails are out.   This one was feeding on a newly blossoming Lilac blossom.

The Trillium have started to bloom.

Violets are blooming.
Red Dogwood blossoms.

Fiddlehead Fern
White Dogwood blossoms

This hiker kept me company for awhile.    Because of an illness he expects his remaining life is measured in months not years and he was making the most of his remaining time taking advantage of a wonderful spring day.

The view towards Culpepper andEtlan from the first false summit.
Looking up the rock scramble from the first false summit.

The view of the SNP Northern District from the First False Summit.

As I was driving out on Peola Mills Road the full moon was rising.

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