Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Day on Mars

These pictures were taken by one of our staff Greg Zielske and his girlfriend Jess Coker. The lakebed looks different everyday. If you have yet to come up and experience the lakebed for yourself, I strongly recommend it.

This is a picture of the largest pond that is left of the lake. This is where the deepest portion of the lake is located. Check out the little island that is forming.

Jess standing on the edge of the abyss.

Spring meandering through the lakebed.

The cracked mud underneath the water indiciates the water levels rising and falling.

Several of these 'holes' have recently emerged in the lakebed. This one is about 1 foot in diameter.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

No Child Left Inside

U.S. House of Representatives approved the No Child Left Inside Act of 2008. This is a big step for environmental education, click on the title to learn more about this bill.

To learn more about The Mountain Lake Conservancy's environmental education programs, please visit our website at MtnLakeConservancy.org and click on the Education tab.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A few more pix from the bottom ...

Here are some shots of the actual drain and where it is located. The first shot was while standing directly on top of it looking down (HOLD ON TO THE CAMERA!), and the second is shot looking back and down from the bank. The drain in the second shot is located in that finger of water pointing to the left at center.

The photo on the left is looking toward the drain from above where water is flowing into the pool. The photo on the right is from the drain looking toward that inlet.

Boat #8, not looking too seaworthy right now. This boat was elegantly made, not sure of the age, but guessing around the nineteen-thirties.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Standing over the big drain - video!

Today I went down and walked along the bottom of the lake to see if the drain at the big pool would be visible. As I got closer I could hear it. You can hear the gurgling in the video. I carefully climbed down the rock slide, avoiding the mud and trying not to inhale the stale stench of death through my nose. As I got to within a few feet of it I saw a way to step across a couple rocks embedded in the mud and be able to stand directly over the drain and peer in. The water sounds and appears as if it is dropping straight in several feet. Reminded me of hearing water running in a cave passage.

Standing there on the shaky rocks felt precarious, so I shot ten seconds of video and climbed on out.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's beautiful even when it's almost gone...

These pictures of the lakebed were taken on 9/4/2008. Becca and I went down to the lakebed early Thursday morning around 7:30 am. Wildflowers and unique plants are merging out of the dried lakebed, along with some old boats and other interesting treasures.

This picture is of the largest pool. This is where the deepest point is located.

Spider spinning a web

View of the meadow

View of the east side side of the lakebed from Rest Rock

Check out the big spring feeding into the largest pool

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Three small pools, lots of dead fish and that odor.

There are now three ponds in the bottom of the lake bed. The largest water pouring in from the hotel end via a shallow stream and has some surviving fish, the medium pool has a few hangers on in their last hours, and the smallest empty and chock full of dead fish. Identified in this last pool were sunfish of good size and a large mouth bass up to 8 lb range. No trout were spotted - they probably died off a while ago.

This smallest pool also had a small stream of water coming in from a higher crack and then pouring out into a hole in the bottom against the western side. This is easy to observe.

The biggest two pools are full of muddy water. The stench down there is pretty bad, the flies are busy and it is not a good place to be with the sun and the heat. Perhaps the line of hurricanes on the way will help wash things down a bit and make access to the bottom easier.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Losing the Eastern Hemlock

My good friend Will Blozan is an arborist and President of the Eastern Native Tree Society. He has been on a mission to save the largest of the surviving Eastern Hemlocks. His 'Tsuga Search Project' has been recording their size so that we may know what this extremely endangered species was capable of before they are lost.


This video was shot in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Cataloochee Valley). Will Blozan is the subject of a documentary being filmed there.

You can find out more about the plight of the hemlocks and how they can be saved by visiting www.thevanishinghemlock.com