Friday, September 23, 2016

Sat. & Sun. Sept. 17&18, 2016

Held at the Pinnacles Research and Stewardship Center

Overview of the ways we learn.

Presentation on one of the seven LNT principals.

Outside presentation of one of the seven LNT principals

Class pictures with two different backdrops. 
Ten new LNT Trainers ready to start training others.

After class finished on Sunday I ran down to Old Rag and did a short patrol along Weakley Fire Road.   Many hikers were admiring and taking pictures of this specimen of Chicken Of The Woods which was just off the fire road.

If you are an amateur naturalist of our mid-Atlantic Appalachian  woods you probably will find the following website useful:

Here is the link to a seven minute video about Chicken In The Woods:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunday May 15,2016



Monday, April 18, 2016

Saturday April 16, 2016

Lots of Crowds, Training, Outreach,

Helped Getting An Injured Hiker Out.

Tent Caterpillars.



Besides being a picture of the new PATC  Trail Patrol person I was training this picture is there for the PATC or NPS trail maintenance folks to plan their trip to fix this blowdown.  Hikers can pretty easily weave their way through it until it gets fixed.

 A better picture of my student. 
 Old Rag was crazy busy with main lot full and 200 cars in the neighbors lot.   The video shows the line at the start of the scramble at around noon Saturday.

Stuff happens.   This hiker slipped and badly hurt her lower right leg.  She could not weight it. 

Many thanks to Shenandoah Mountain Guides, The Old Rag Mountain Stewards, SOLO,  Emergency Response Training, LNT, NOLS, Outward Bound and Red Cross, Adirondack Mountain Club for all the Wilderness First Aid training I have received over the years!  Please support our wonderful outdoor education resources by taking classes with them.    I am fairly sure that it is very hard to get too much training.

The  SNP staff was somewhat tied up with two forest fires and a missing hiker.   It was decided that while the patient could not put weight on her leg that she could make some progress under her own power.

SNP Ranger help arrived good Samaritans from the very beginning.   SNP Rangers and good Samaritans are awesome!

Some of the trip out was happy.

 By butt scooting about a half mile in the scramble,  using crutches for about a mile on the trail and then being carried piggyback by her male companion for the last mile of the trail the impromptu team finished a successful day around 2AM Sunday morning.  YAH TEAM!


Nethers had lots of tent caterpillars showing.   Researching them I found this great blog called Capital Naturalist follow the link below to read a great post about Eastern Tent Caterpillars and then maybe enjoy some of the other great posts done by this blogger.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sunday April 10, 2016 ICE FORMATIONS

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:

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. 
Needle Ice  

Dr. James R. Carter, Professor Emeritus
Geography-Geology Department
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.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Early Spring

Weekend of April 2-3, 2016
Spring is in the air.
 Notice the green leaves on the trees at the foot of Old Rag.

 The seasonal Rangers are starting back to work.   Stephanie is new to the Old Rag contact station.

 I saw my first Tiger Swallowtail of 2016.


The Red Buds were blooming.   I had an old timer tell me that when Red Buds bloom it is a good sign that the snakes will be exiting their hibernaculum. 

 My first bear sighting of 2016.

 Old Rag from Weakley Fire Road.