Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And it just keeps rising!

I ventured down to the lakebed last week to capture some early morning photos of the water. As I meandered through the basin, I passed over many springs, all of which were pumping water towards the lake. Take a look at this picture - this 6 foot pole was placed at the edge of the left shoreline in March. Although I did not walk to to shore across from the measuring stick (it was extremely muddy!), I would estimate that the stick is about 10 feet from the shore.

This picture was taken from the lakebed road. It gives you a good perspective of the true size of the lake. We estimate that it is a 1/5 of the way full.

This is a picture of a spring that is feeding into the lake on the left side of the shore. The stream feeds a small channel that then feeds into the bigger body of water.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MLC welcomes 2 new members to our Board

We would like to welcome our newest additions to The Mountain Lake Conservancy Board: Tom McAvoy and Laura Belleville. Tom has been working with the MLC since 2000 on treating our hemlocks from the woolly adelgid. He has been employed with Virginia Tech's Deptartment of Entomology for over 20 years.

Laura has been working with the MLC for the past 3 years on various programming and marketing. She currently holds the position of the Director of Conservation and Regional Director for The Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Laura has been with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for the past five years and has over 20 years of experience with other organizations such as The Nature Conservancy.We look forward working with both Tom and Laura and making many positive decisions for the mountain.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lake Walk with Bruce Parker

This morning, Bruce Parker, long time researcher of Mountain Lake, and Diane Tennant, a staff writer for The Virginian Pilot, came up to check out Mountain Lake for a future story on the natural lakes of Virginia. Mountain Lake is one of two natural lakes in VA, the other being Lake Drummond in the Dismal Swamp. Bruce talked with her about the unique geology that makes up our lake and the rare cycles it has experienced throughout history.

View of the lake from the East side of the Indian Trail.

We hiked over to 'Rest Rock' - once a popular rock to jump off of into the water below. Bruce is explaining the process of 'Solifluction' which is the term for rocks 'slowly creeping down a mountain.' Our lake was form by huge sandstone boulders that crept down from the top of the mountain and formed a partial dam over 8,000 years ago!

Bruce talking about the different rock substrates that form Mountain Lake.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thanks to the New River Valley Bird Club

A big thanks goes out to The New River Valley Bird Club for their generous donation of $100.00 to the Sharron-Mays Memorial Fund. This memorial fund was set up in honor of Olen Sharron and Warren Mays. Both were big advocates in protecting the Eastern Hemlock and spent many hours up at Mountain Lake treating and protecting our trees. To learn more, visit our the Sharron-Mays Memorial Fund page on our website.

What's our Drought Status?

Recent rains have raised the lake levels, but it still has a long way to go before it returns to 'full-pond.' There is good news though. Southwest Virginia has moved to a 'DO' drought condition or 'abnormally dry' ...and it is on the verge of returning to normal! The month of March received 25% more precipitation than in recent years. If weather patterns continue to bring us ample rain, we we will no longer be in drought status.

Keep the rain coming!

Thursday, April 2, 2009