Weekend of April 9-10, 2016
I got asked about an ice formation. The person asking the question showed me a picture of ice needles. During the shoulder seasons when we have temperatures swinging from above to freezing to below freezing Old Rag can host the formation of some interesting types of ice. Many of these forms of ice relate to the diurnal (daily) cycle of warming and cooling.
Hoar frost, rime ice, needle ice, ribbon ice, hair ice, pebble ice and ice flowers come to mind. There is an excellent post on these beautiful formations that can be found at: http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrcarter/ice/
there are great pictures and great information about how some of the more rarely seen of these formations come into existence.
Old Rag often gets needle ice and here is a picture from the section of Dr. James R Carter's posts about ice formations which can be gotten to via the above link.
Dr. James R. Carter, Professor Emeritus
Illinois State University, Normal IL 61790-4400
Much more rare are ice flower and ice ribbon formations:
All the above pictures are from
Dr. James R. Carter, Professor Emeritus Geography-Geology Department
Illinois State University's blog postings reached via the following link:
Sunset over Skyline Drive from Old Rag.
Summit of Old Rag
The Sapsuckers went to work on this tree.
My first 2016 sighting of Bluets on the Old Rag Saddle Trail.
Please be aware that the Old Rag summit areas are unique micro-biomes. Some of the species residing here have been greatly impacted and the NPS is trying to protect/mange the summit areas so as to contain and perhaps reverse some of the damage. The lesser summit which I have very seldom seen anyone visit has been closed to all public use. The main summit area continues to be open for public use with some areas roped off to protect plants from being trampled. The good news is that the main summit has a lot of hard durable granite and can absorb large numbers of visitors pretty well.
As I was leaving late Sunday night I saw that someone left their trash out for morning pick up. Sorry folks but Old Rag is not serviced by a trash collection service. I figured I would go ahead and carry it out but when I checked on it I found that it only had a 35-50 lb back of playground sand inside the trash back so I left it there. If you are looking for ways to add extra weight to your pack by carrying gravel, sand, pea stone, bricks, nails, cement, than please carry it out. If for some reason you really only want to carry it up the mountain and not back out than please consider using water. A couple of gallon jugs should add about fifteen pounds of water. If you use clean tap water and it is a hot day I am sure you will have lots of folks willing to fill up on water. If no one wants your water than it will not hurt anything if you just dump it out.
Looking at sunset over Skyline Drive. Hawksbill on the left of the sun.
Looking in the same direction from the last view point just above CCC stairs on the Saddle Trail.