Monday, May 16, 2011

Sat. & Sun. April 14&15, 2011

MAY14 & 15, 2011  


Lead Steward Ben discussing patient preparation, packaging and litter tie in.  Looks like this was one of our more somber moments.   Perhaps some day we will learn how to relax and enjoy each others company a little.

Rope em, tie em, brand em.    Well maybe we can do without the last item.

Where are Emily or Ann when you need them?
On Sunday I learned from Emily that this was Corydalis semipervirens or Pink Corydalis.   By the time I wrote the blog I had already forgotten the name but Emily must have sensed one of the Stewards needed a little identification help.    Before I could even get to my second edit rewrite (my writing process is more like sculpting where I slap up a big blob of ugly writing and then sculpt away with multiple rewrites) of this post she left a wonderful comment as to its name.    It would be cool if we could make super miniature clones of Emily to carry on our packs.   Maybe she will write a book some day.

Okay I got this next one Pink Lady Slippers.   Quite a cluster and I thought they were supposed to be rare.

I have heard that the Smokies used to have a lot of Lady Slippers which could be seen from the hiking trails but now the ones near the trails are practically completely gone.    Hikers picked or dug them up.      

The following is from the:

The New England Birdhouse Blog

It contains a lot of neat wildlife information and feeds.

Pink lady’s slipper is a wildflower in the orchid family. It grows 6 – 15″ tall with two large basal leaves at the base of the plant. It is easily identifiable because of its bulbous flower hanging at the top of a tall leafless stalk. It generally flowers between May and July, is pink to whitish-pink, and sometimes all white. Another common name for this plant is moccasin flower.

Like most orchids, the lady’s slipper is symbiotic as it has a mutually beneficial relationship with a fungus. The pink lady’s slipper uses a fungus in the soil to break open their seeds and to draw food and nutrients to its seed. When the lady’s slipper plant is older, the fungus draws nutrients from the orchid’s roots. Pink lady’s slippers also require bees for pollination, luring them into the flower pouch through the front opening.

Pink lady’s slipper takes many years to mature, living twenty or more years. Pink lady’s slipper usually grows on a wet, acidic forest floor with mixed shade in the eastern United States. The plants should not be removed from the wild because of their rarity and the near impossibility of successfully transplanting and maintaining the plant. New plants are difficult to start because of the need for the symbiotic fungi and their particular growing conditions.

 Indian Squaw Root (Conopholis americana)

One of the Red Efts that grace Old Rag's woods.   The black circled red dots are very decorative.    These guys do not move very fast so be careful not to step on them.

A Painted Box Turtle who turned out to be very gregarious.   Quite a character.

We placed a lot of brush on a social trail that was really starting to get cut into the soil.

My consummate skill as a photographer LOL involves pointing and shooting a LOT then hoping that I get lucky once in a while.    

This next one was a very lucky catch.

Enlarge it so you can see the expressions.   Priceless!

As we were leaving the summit we could hear that there might be a carryout response being considered for another part of the park (NOT OLD RAG)   Old Rag was quiet and we were ending our day so we figured  if we hustled out we might be of assistance. 

While not every one's cup of tea the ORMS folks love a chance to participate in a wilderness injury response.   Exhausting work, tick and poison ivy filled woods, spider webs, obstacles like swift running mountain rivers, streams, steep rocky trails, brush, nettles, rocks, blow downs,  a possible snake or bees nest, nasty weather, darkness ....What could be more fun then to get intimately close with nature and bunch of other sweaty grimy folks all working closely together for the purpose of getting a non-ambulatory patient out and on their way to modern medical facilities.  Serious rewarding work.

Sure enough it turned out the response could use our help.   The litter was being carried downhill moving the patient to an ambulance waiting on the eastern boundary of the park.   It was relatively quick for us to get there and hike upward towards the downward travelling litter team.     As we hiked up to meet the downward bound team we were able to scout out and start planning for the stream crossings.
We met up with the downward bound litter team not too far from their first stream crossing and we were able to rig a taut static line across the stream to help folks either cross the stream or quickly set up for their next position in the stream in order to caterpillar the patient across.

After rigging several more stream crossings we arrived at the ambulance which was able to take the patient to a medical facility for treatment.     While not life threatening the injuries were very serious.   

Hoping, praying, wishing for the patient's successful speedy treatment and recovery.


  1. Bob -
    I like you group stream crossing and the loading the pt shots! My video came out but a lot of the other shots did not... Thanks Again for all your help. Alan

  2. AW,
    Once again it was awesome to work with SNP staff. Dedicated very professional public servants and great folk to boot.

    I will send you all my carryout photos both Photoshoped versions and original versions via email link like I did last fall. Can not do it until late tonight though.

    As per our discussion if anyone is ever in the least bit concerned about anything I post they should let me know. All that counts is that someone is even slightly bothered and I will fix whatever is of concern. That goes for anyone else that reads this blog. Just post a comment, phone, email, smoke signal, or people mail me and I will take the photo or text off ASAP.

    Subtle messages delivered by Katusha Rocket will be rejected. LOL

  3. The pink flower is Corydalis semipervirens or Pink Corydalis.

  4. Wow what a rapid ID. Between my initial draft and first rewrite. THANKS

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  6. Me with the eyes closed was my attempt at looking attentive - didn't work out too well!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the people and learned so much.

  7. Mary,

    I still learn an immense amount every ORMS day and it is one of the reasons I never get tired or bored on my Old Rag days. Looking forward to seeing you on the mountain.

  8. Likewise, Bob - and congrats to you and the rest of the Sunday team that assisted with the rescue - very cool!