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Cherokee National Forest Snorkel Trips 2016


34 replies to this topic

#21 keepnatives

keepnatives
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Posted 06 February 2017 - 08:18 PM

those stoneroller squares would make nice floor tiles for my fish room, have to see if home depot carries them.


Mike Lucas
Mohawk-Hudson Watershed
Schenectady NY

#22 fundulus

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:43 PM

You were lucky to get to the paw paws ahead of birds.


Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#23 Chasmodes

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  • Central Maryland

Posted 07 February 2017 - 05:41 PM

I love the hog and log pic the most, but all are fantastic shots  =D>


Kevin Wilson


#24 mattknepley

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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 08 February 2017 - 05:30 PM

I love the hog and log pic the most, but all are fantastic shots  =D>


Agreed.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#25 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 13 February 2017 - 04:21 PM

Those stoneroller squares would make nice floor tiles for my fish room, have to see if home depot carries them.

 

With my 54" solvent printer i can print floor decals for clients of anything they desire.  :)  You would not want the tiles as slick as the real thing though!  Knee busters.

 

You were lucky to get to the paw paws ahead of birds.

 

Ahead of every other critter too, a tasty treat for nearly all forest inhabitants.  I have found many paw paw patches by snorkeling streams.  A fairly common under story tree, but not all paw paw trees seem to yield.  I have the leaves, pattern and texture burned in my memory eye.

 

Thank you Kevin and Matt.  I am excited to see how my new camera performs during 2017.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#26 Chasmodes

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  • Central Maryland

Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:23 PM

I am excited to see how my new camera performs during 2017.

 

Me too!  :D/


Kevin Wilson


#27 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:39 PM

September 1 with Normal Park 8th Graders
 
We broke the students into 2 groups, Boys and Girls giving each about one and a half hours in the water.  The river is still way low but warmer at 72 than the morning air of 70.  A recent small thunder shower had brought in a bit of organic fluff but the visibility was still reasonable at about 6 to 8 feet.  This is the doldrums of Summer, not much going on.  I think we are beginning to slide slowly to cooler temps after a brutally long, hot, dry Summer.
 
10-Trio.JPG
 
Stacked Weaved Hairdos in the Conasoggy.
 
 
11-Snorkelers.JPG
 
Happy Peers.
 
 
12-MaskofFroglets.JPG
 
Captured a mask full of Froglets.
 
 
13-Froglet.JPG
 
Getting ready for land.
 
 
14-BlueVelvet.JPG
 
They never stop moving.
 
 
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Found him in the road on the morning drive in.  His tail was vibrating a warning and struck at the lens a couple times.
 

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#28 Chasmodes

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  • Central Maryland

Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:40 PM

A bunch of happy kids.  Nice pics too!


Kevin Wilson


#29 mattknepley

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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 14 February 2017 - 06:34 AM

King Snake is a big bluffer, but those Velvet Ants are the real deal. Love to watch them on the prowl. Sooo want to pick one up; but sooooooo want to avoid the horrible sting more. Even I have a little common sense... :)
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#30 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 06 March 2017 - 02:54 PM

This was a fine year with the students.  I did not want to pick up that King Snake... i have friends that are far more willing.  I have never met anyone that picked up a Velvet Ant nor has anyone recounted a first hand experience with a sting.  They are a treat to see, so pretty.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#31 Casper

Casper
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  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 06 March 2017 - 03:01 PM

September 8 with Dalton 7th Graders
 
The weather is cooling, the water temperature at 68 degrees.  A bit cool for me without a wetsuit but by midday the warming sun shined bright.  We broke the students into 2 groups, about 20 boys first.
 
10-Boys.JPG
 
The first boys, the first to get their wetsuits on, masks in hand and ready for the cool plunge.
 
 
11-Cooter.JPG
 
Caught a Cooter hiding under the ledge and several of the boys took turns holding it tight.  Those long fingernails designate it a male and those hind nails can scratch.
 
 
12-Cooter2.JPG
 
 
I am not sure what the exact name for this turtle is but let me tell you when they are little they will soon eat all your aquarium fish!
 
 
13-Girls.JPG
 
A couple of the 20 girls from the latter session, a bit warmer with the sun above the tree line.  Breaking them into group of boys, then girls helps a bit, minimizing social endeavors, and more fishy focus.
 
 
14-Sift.JPG
It is often interesting how the current will sort various sizes and weights of gravel and sand.  Here is a distinct boundary in a gravel runs eddy.
 
 
15-Soft2.JPG
 
Something hiding.
 
 
16-Soft1.JPG
 
I flushed off the sand and out he dashed.  They will bite hard, i held onto him for just a bit before the fearing commenced of the long, flexible neck.
 
 
17-Caddis.JPG
 
Caddis Fly Casings, so square their openings be.  Oriented into the flow, waiting.
 
 
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Looking down i found this interesting erosion pattern.
 
 
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After the students left Amanda and i walked downstream, snorkel exploring several pools as the Snorkel Boss had seen Gar from the high bank a couple weeks before.  We found no Gar but the scenery and Softshell were a late afternoon treat.
 
 
20-Toad.JPG
 
I had decided to camp overnight.  Finding a nice spot upstream i took my chair to the beach hoping to relax and read a chapter of  "SnorkelHead" but the noseeums and black flies tormented me relentlessly.  Old Shield, a tattooed warrior from another time, visited while he searched for firewood, we sat and spoke of the Cherokee ways, unfortunately none were how to curtail biting insects.  Walking back to our camp sites he spotted this toad and caught him for the camera.  A big well fed Toad he was.  With the darkness upon us i chose my closed van and lay sweltering, stifled sleepless, until i finally arose and installed my window screens.  With bull frogs calling i settled into a cool night's rest.
 

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#32 Chasmodes

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  • Central Maryland

Posted 06 March 2017 - 03:08 PM

 

A big well fed Toad he was.

 

For some reason, the image of Yoda popped into my head when I read this.

 

Great post again Casper!  


Kevin Wilson


#33 Isaac Szabo

Isaac Szabo
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  • The Ozarks

Posted 07 March 2017 - 10:49 PM

Cool shots of the softshell and caddisfly casings.

#34 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 13 March 2017 - 05:02 PM

September 9 with Dalton 7th Graders
 
This group was from the same Dalton, Georgia Middle School, but this time all girls.
 
09-Girls40.JPG
 
40 mostly attentive youngsters hearing words of concern regarding bears, bees and poison ivy from Lifeguard Amanda.
 
 
10-Girls.JPG
 
Happy members of the first group in, warming in the sun.
 
 
11-GirlBus.JPG
 
A bus load of girls, taking them back to Georgia.  The Conasauga flows through the Carpet Capital and its water use to flow the color of the day's carpet dye.  Today, here it flowed clear with about 12' of visibility under blue skies.
 
 
12-Amanda.JPG
 
Amanda, our fine and stern Lifeguard ready to take the snorkel gear back for storage, leaving me to spend a few more hours in the river.
 
13-Bridge.JPG
 
I decided to return to my campsite upstream, as the beach offered easy access to a bathing pool about thigh deep complete with soap and shampoo.  Locals had piled stones creating a nice pool area full of foraging fish.  Looking upstream the bridge crosses the Jacks River of which i lay in.  A few hundred yards downstream the Conasauga joins the Jacks and assumes the name for both.
 
 
14-Marks.JPG
 
Colors of the many soft, almost chalk-like stones.
 
 
15-Snail.JPG
 
The fleshy foot of the river snail offers an interesting pattern.
 
16-Bridled.JPG
 
Several larger Bridled Darters were in the pool, while at the snorkel hole this year they all appear smaller.  I have seen bigger ones in the breeding season and they can take on a glowing quality.
 
 
17-BlackBanded.JPG
 
It took a couple looks but here be a Blackbanded Darter, a rare find at the snorkel hole but content here in the bathing pool.  He did seem to enjoy most of his time around the tree limbs and branches gathered against the boulder dam.  Much more content with closeups than the 3 Bridleds i pushed on.
 
So ended the day, and the last of my 2016 season trips with the Cherokee National Forest.  I was feeling quite content as both groups of students were well mannered, interested in what was offered and seemingly enjoyed the day in the cool, clear mountain water.
 
With no other group registered for September this finished my 7th season snorkel guiding for the Cherokee National Forest.  Snorkel Boss Jim is retiring this year so others must pick up the reins to continue the program.  It takes a lot of people working together to make the program successful.
 

Edited by Casper, 13 March 2017 - 05:04 PM.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#35 Chasmodes

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  • Central Maryland

Posted 14 March 2017 - 06:05 PM

So ended the day, and the last of my 2016 season trips with the Cherokee National Forest.  I was feeling quite content as both groups of students were well mannered, interested in what was offered and seemingly enjoyed the day in the cool, clear mountain water.

 
With no other group registered for September this finished my 7th season snorkel guiding for the Cherokee National Forest.  Snorkel Boss Jim is retiring this year so others must pick up the reins to continue the program.  It takes a lot of people working together to make the program successful.
 

 

So ended the day, and the last of my 2016 season trips with the Cherokee National Forest.  I was feeling quite content as both groups of students were well mannered, interested in what was offered and seemingly enjoyed the day in the cool, clear mountain water.

 
With no other group registered for September this finished my 7th season snorkel guiding for the Cherokee National Forest.  Snorkel Boss Jim is retiring this year so others must pick up the reins to continue the program.  It takes a lot of people working together to make the program successful.
 

Kevin Wilson




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