We are excited and looking forward to another great summer here at Backwoods Adventures. Let's get out and explore!
This year we had a special event take place in the night sky on Feb.10 ! We just had an amazing Full Moon called the Snow Moon but at the same time we had a Lunar Eclipse and also had a Comet passing by.
This months Full Moon was named the Snow Moon many years ago because this is the month we usually get our heaviest snow.
Some of the Native American tribes also referred to this Moon as the Hunger Moon because it was a very hard month for the Native Americans due to the fact hunting for game becomes difficult because of heavy snowfall that is often on the ground.
This hiking trip I was honored to have the chance to follow the footsteps of some of my ancestors.
I visited the spring that my Great Grandfather C.D. Phillips (born June 1st 1866) used to drink from and carry water from to his home. Later my grandfather Ethridge Phillips used this same spring and once my dad Earnel Phillips was old enough one of his chores was to carry water from this spring to their home and also lead the milk cow and horses to an area to the right of the spring that was used to water the stock a safe distance away from the family's drinking water supply.
Near this spring is also an area where they would collect clay to use for several projects. This clay is so white that they would often use it to make a white wash to paint the walls inside their home.
If your out hiking and run across a very old homesite here on the Cumberland Plateau chances are if you look close you will find a spring nearby. Often these springs are contaminated today. But years ago these springs would often determine where a family would decide to settle and build their home. They were prized and taken very good care of and cleaned out often to keep from getting clogged up. Now a lot of them no longer flow water above ground or are unsafe to drink from. It was nice to see this one is still there and flowing fresh cool clear water!
( I do not recommend drinking from any spring or water source today without filtering it or boiling it unless you know forsure the water is pure, clean and safe.)
My Great Grandfather CD Phillips My Grandfather Ethridge Phillips and barely visible my Great Uncle Erbin Phillips.
My Grandfather and Grandmother Ethridge and Winnie Phillips and 3 of their children including my Dad Earnel Phillips, my Aunt Maxine and Uncle Robert.
We all know the story of a frogs life as a Tadpole that lives in the water as a baby and then lives on land and water after it matures. But many people don't know the story of the Red Newts life which is a bit more complex and to me even more interesting.
Baby Newts live in the water and at that stage of their life they have gills. Once they start to grow and become older they leave the water and rome the earth usually staying in cool shady areas of the forest.
The juvenile Red Spotted Newt is actually known as an Eft and will live on land for usually 2 to 3 years but sometimes as long as 7 years.
Once they become an adult they will return to the water to live out the rest of their life. As an adult and back in the water they often can change color to more of an olive green body with a yellow belly. They will most often keep their spots at that point in their life also. The Red Spotted Newt can often live for 12 to 15 years of age.
I found and photographed this one inside the Big South Fork NRRA on a warm day back in December.
Happy New Year Everyone! We are excited and ready for 2017!Bring it on lets Get out and EXPLORE !!!!!!!
If your out exploring in nature this Fall and early Winter maybe you will be lucky enough to encounter a Frost Flower!
Although these sometimes look like a flower from a distance they are not actually flowers at all.
Frost flowers are delicate ribbons of ice crystals that form on the lower stems of some plants. These formations depend on a hard freeze occurring while the ground isn't already frozen. This allows the stem of the plant to draw moisture up from the ground. This moisture and sap that's left in the stem of the plant will expand as it freezes and split the stem. This creates thin layers of ice to form into exquisite patterns that curl into almost petal like shapes that resemble a flower.
These flower looking ice crystals have a very short life. Once the rays of the sun fall upon them they melt as quickly as frost.
Here are some that we found this past weekend.