Registrations being taken for 61st Roan Mountain Naturalist Rally

John Thompson • Mar 26, 2019 at 8:27 PM

ROAN MOUNTAIN — Registrations are now being accepted for the 61st Annual Roan Mountain Spring Naturalist Rally, which will take place on April 26-28.

Registration can be done online at the Friends of Roan Mountain website at https://formsmarts.com/form/1y76?mode=h5 or by mail to: Nancy Barrigar, treasurer, 708 Allen Ave., Elizabethton, TN 37643.

Registration for all activities for the weekend is $15. Buffet dinners on Friday and Saturday evening are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Saturday lunch reservations are $7.

As usual, the rally is sponsored by the Friends of Roan Mountain.

The guest speakers will be Jeremy Stout on Friday night and Scott Honeycutt on Saturday night.

Stout is the manager of the Nature Center at Steele Creek Park in Bristol and also an adjunct professor of biology at Northeast State Community College. He holds a master’s in vertebrate paleontology from East Tennessee State University.

“Stout’s talk is titled “Dynamic Roan, a Prehistoric Perspective on Today’s Ecology,” in which he will interpret the Roan’s unique natural history.

Honeycutt holds a doctorate in American literature from Georgia State University. His primary job at ETSU includes coordinating the secondary school teaching program and teaching pedagogical methods courses. His research interests include 19th century nature writing, walking literature, poetry and young adult literature. He has published essays on walking and nature in “Northwest Ohio History,” “The Journal of Ecocriticism” and “Writing the Environment in the Nineteenth Century American Literature.” Honeycutt’s talk is titled “ Crossing the Hills — The Literature of the Appalachian Trail.”

The weekend will get started with registration and check-in at the Roan Mountain State Park’s Conference Center on April 26 starting at 5:30 p.m. The prepaid buffet dinner will begin at 6:30. Reservations for meals must be made by April 23. Meals will be catered by City Market of Elizabethton. Friday’s meal will be a choice between roast beef and chicken. Meals include salad, side items, drink and desert.

Following Friday’s dinner and lecture, there will be two field trips scheduled for 9 p.m. They are: “Astronomy/Night Critters,” led by Stout, and “Moth Viewing,” led by Larry McDaniel.

A whole range of field trips are scheduled for April, starting at 6:30 a.m. with the “Early Birds,” led by the Lee and Lois Herndon Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. Meet at the Visitor Center (water wheel).

Another early field trip is the “Torchlight Insects,” led by McDaniel at the Conference Center.

Eight field trips will start at 8:30 a.m. All will start in the field adjacent to the park cabins entrance. The trips are:

• “Birds of Roan Mountain,” led by the Lee and Lois Herndon Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society.

• “Jones Falls Hike,” a 5-mile round trip excursion to the beautiful falls which are more than 50 feet tall.

• “Twin Springs Trifecta,” features a history lesson from Gary Barrigar, wildflower talk by Guy Mauldin and a salamander discussion by Tyler Wicks.

• “Nature Retreat Hike to Raven’s Rock,” led by Philip Hylen.

• “Birding for Beginners,” led by Joe McGinness.

• “Reptiles and Amphibians,” led by Connie Deegan.

• “Geology/Paleontology Hike,” a hike to Grassy Ridge, led by Stout.

• “Centipedes and Millipedes,” led by Cade Campbell.

There will be two demonstrations at the Conference Center at 11 a.m. These are “Fossil Casting,” by Mick Whitelaw of ETSU’s Department of Geology and the Geoscience Club. The second offering is “Flint Knapping,” demonstrating the traditional method of fashioning tools from stones, led by Bob Estep.

A bag lunch will be served at noon in the Conference Center for those with prepaid reservations. The deadline for reserving meals is April 23. The bag lunches are $7 each. Those who brought their own lunch are welcome to join the others. Tracy Campbell will present a nature line show during lunch.

At 1 p.m. Roan Mountain State Park Ranger Keiffer Helle will present a program on the “History of Roan Mountain State Park.”

Saturday afternoon field trips will begin at 2 p.m., starting at the field adjacent to the park cabins entrance. The eight field trips are as follows:

• “Mindfull Walking,” led by Honeycutt.

• “Aquatic Insects as Water Quality Indicators,” led by Gary Barrigar.

• “Mosses and Liverworts,” led by Jim Goldsmith.

• “Riverside Wildflower Hike,” to flowering plants and trees, led by Hylen.

•. “Raven Rocks Hike,” led by Jamey Donaldson.

7. “Spruce Fir Hike and Photography,” led by Marquette Crockette and Travis Bordley.

8. “Butterflies,” led by Don Miller.

The buffet dinner for those with prepaid reservations will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the conference center. The entree for Saturday’s meal is a choice of meat or vegetable lasagna. Honeycutt’s program begins at 7:30 p.m.

Two more night-time programs will take place at 9 .m. They will be “Night Sky Viewing,” with Gary Henson, and “Moth Veiwing,” led by McDaniel.

April 28 field trips get started with another “Porchlight Insects” program, led by McDaniel at 7:30 a.m. at the Conference Center.

There are only two field trips scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 28. They are:

• “Birds of Hampton Creek Cove”, led by Lee and Lois Herndon Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society.

• “Ed Schell Memorial Hike: Doe River Gorge — Wildflowers and Geology”, an all-day hike led by Gabrielle Zeiger, Whitelaw and Don Holt. Participants are instructed to bring water, lunch and rain gear.

The final two field trips are April 28 at 2 p.m. They are:

• “Salamanders,” led by Dale Ledford.

• “Creepy Crawlies,” led by Lance Jesse.