Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What's In Bloom at Mtn Lake Biological Station

What's In Bloom

June 15, 2013

The following were in bloom along the Pipeline Trail - Cross Trail - Spring Trail - and Bear Cliff trail at the Mountain Lake Biological Station! (This is not an exhaustive account of what was recorded, just the highlights!)

You can join the What's In Bloom walk every Saturday at 10 am, meeting at the MLBS campus!

Fly poison, Amianthium muscitoxicum

Photo of Houstonia caerulea L.
Bluets, also called "Quaker ladies", Houstonia caerulea
Huckleberry, Gaylussacia baccatta

Galax, Galax aphyla

Squawroot or Bear corn, Conopholis americana
Canada mayflower, Maianthemum canadense

Wild sarsparilla, Aralia nudicaulis

Mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia

Common cinquefoil, Potentilla simplex

Marsh violet, Viola palustris

Yellow slime mold, unknown

Buttercup, Ranunculus sp?
A red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus, found near the spring on MLBS

MLBS station manager with Mountain Lake Lodge guest, checking out the flaming azalea blooms, Rhododendron calendulaceum

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lake Update & Announcement of Public Presentations

Lake Level Continues to Rise

Persistent rains continue to add more water in to the lake this month. The water level currently at the peak level that it reached in 2012. Just a few feet from the "T-dock" down near the water's edge.
Photo taken June 12, 2013
Lake level on June 12, 2013
While the Mountain Lake Board was meeting on the mountain, a special tour was arranged to give these important members a first hand look at the lake's current status and recent mitigation work. Now that the majority of the holes through the bottom are believe to have been filled, close monitoring is needed to survey the piping hole and depression areas.

Below is a snapshot extracted from the presentation that Dr. Watts has created and shared with Mountain Lake staff summarizing the geology and recent research on the lake.

Hypothetical cross section through landslide showing piping holes and conduits beneath the Newport House. Piping holes now believed plugged with natural fill material from around the basin.


Join us on the mountain for the full presentation, shared by Mountain Lake Conservancy staff, free and open to the public on the following days in the coming month:

June 28 - July 13

Every Friday at 4:00 pm 

Every Saturday at 1:00 pm

Meet in the main lobby of the lodge to be directed to the meeting space for the presentation. Expect the presentation to last approximately one hour. A guided walk in to the lake bed will follow each presentation. 

Please contact the Mountain Lake Conservancy with any questions at MLC@MtnLakeLodge.com or 540-626-7121 x422

"Jump Rock", near the boulder field on the North end of the lake.
The transducer buoy - measures instant readings of lake level elevation.
Radford University & Virginia Tech geologist Dr. Watts explaining the lake history and mitigation process on a special pontoon tour with Mountain Lake board members and fellow science techs.
A spring flowing through colluvial rocks on the northeast slope of the lake bed.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring blooms

Spring on the Mountain ... 

Is in full force! Spring migratory birds are passing through or have arrived for the summer breeding season, wildflowers are blooming and the trees are finally leafing out on the mountain top! Here is a peak of what you can see out and about currently!

Many of these photos were from the most recent "What's In Bloom" program at the Mountain Lake Biological Station - held every Saturday at 10 am! More info. here.

This is just a taste of what we saw, you'll have to join us for an MLC Naturalist Program or the MLBS What's In Bloom program to see it all!

Painted trillium, Trillium undulatum

Bluet or "Quaker Lady", Houstonia caerulea

British soldier lichen, Cladonia sp. Found in the lake bed.

Marsh violet, Viola cucullata

Mountain bellwort, Uvularia pudica

Rattlesnake plantain, Goodyera pubescens

Wild sasparilla, Aralia nudicaulus

Eastern newt, Notophthalmus viridescens

The pink lady slipper in bud, Cypripedium acaule
Jack-in-the-pulpit,  Arisaema atrorubens

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring has sprung! Lake Update

Hello from the mountain-top!

It's been quite some time since our last post, but as the season kicks up so will our blogging! We've got lots of new exciting happenings at Mountain Lake this year that we are anxious to share!

We'll keep this post short and simple with the...

Lake Update

As with recent trends for this time of year, the lake level continues to rise with spring precipitation. However, now that the restoration efforts of filling the main depressions and holes in the lake bottom is complete, the water is rising at a faster rate than in years past. We will continue to update you on this progress- an important observation period will be in late June and early July, when the water in the lake normally begins to drop. You can read more about the restoration efforts, and overall property renovations, in a recent article here. We have an updated presentation about the lake that will be shared with guests to Mountain Lake during the season. Look for more info. about scheduled presentations coming soon to the blog, social media, and website!

Lake Level on April 23, 2013

One of the main springs feeding in to the lake on the south end

Spring feeding in to the lake, looking northeast

The adult form of the Eastern newt, also called the red-spotted newt

The adult and the larval stages of the eastern newt are aquatic. Breeding takes place in freshwater bodies such as Mountain Lake from winter to late spring.  

An eastern cottontail rabbit frolics around the Lodge grounds.