Posted by Chris M Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bat and Wind turbines

For several nights the next 2 weeks I am taking part in a study by TVA about Bat Mortality associated with a windfarm north of Oak Ridge. This isn't the first study that has been done at this location, but it sounds quite interesting. The previous studies found that many more bats than birds were being killed, and the vast majority of these bat deaths occurred in late August and early September (during bat migration). Some of the things this is going to try to answer are (1) what is the time of these deaths (throughout the night, only at sunset/rise), (2) are the bats feeding when they hit or are they just flying (a portable radar is going to measure bat movements), and (3) do different turbines have different kill numbers (there are two different types of turbines there). For example, if the most of the kills were found to be at sunset/rise, then the turbines could just be stop for a couple hours a night for a few weeks and stop the vast majority of bat deaths.

My first night is tonight, so hopefully I will be able to post some cool pictures and more information in the future. Below is the picture I took in February from Frozen Head. Notice the small white things on the ridge line in the background.
Buffalo Mountain

Posted by Chris M Thursday, August 23, 2007

Even more photographs from thesis work

This batch of photographs are going to show some of the artifacts/remains of logging I have found while doing my field work. This is by no means comprehensive of what I have seen, just some of the nice looking ones.

First, I have several old rail road track pieces, now mostly covered by vegetation. The first image is from the floodplain of Big Creek, but the second image is from far up Mouse Creek (you will see the slopes in another image).
Rail track Rail track

Also far up Mouse Creek I found this chain. It was on the side of the stream. It is possible it was stretched across the creek to hold the logs back until they were all ready to be "floated" down to the sawmills. The second image shows, to my best guess, some sort of heater for warmth or cooking food (it is about 2.5 ft tall, 1 ft across).
Chain Heater

Finally, up along the slope there are several old logging skids. Notice the extreme slope (> 30 degrees) in the lower left and upper right it was built into.
Old Logging Skid

Posted by Chris M Monday, August 13, 2007

More photographs from thesis work

I thought I would share a few more photographs I have taken while doing my thesis work. First the ugly. Often getting to sites requires going through "rhododendron hells". These are thickets of rhododendrons that make it near impossible to walk without getting caught on something. The first image is taken be me in one, and the second is looking into one (I had to go through it).
Rhododendron hell 1 Rhododendron hell 2

The next two images were taken a old growth regions of the park. The first one is a tree in a stream that was approximately 3.5 ft in diameter and 30 ft long. This was only a small part of the tree, as most was not in the stream, but on the hillside above it. The next is the base on a long dead tree (perhaps American Chestnut... the bark is long gone) that was still roughly 15 ft in diameter. To get an idea of how the tree could have look, see this rather famous image (I have seen it many times).
Copperhead Branch Dead

Lastly, a huge Tulip Popular and Black Bear scat, both in Albright Grove.
Albright Grove Bear Scat