This is Moccasin Creek in Uwharrie National Forest, North Carolina after an extended period of rainfall. At least three sediment trails are visible. The light orange and tan in the thalweg of the stream is the result of sediment influx upstream some distance. (The stream is flowing away from you.)
A tributary on the right side of the channel is transporting bright orange suspended sediment derived mostly from runoff on a gravel road to the right. The tributary is fairly shallow, so most of the suspended load is still near the trunk stream’s surface. On the left, fine particles are being lifted from a recent excavation in the low-velocity margin of the larger stream.
Although the sediment plumes, especially in the central channel, show turbulent and convoluted flow, there is little mixing in this fairly straight channel. The margin of the bright orange plume shows evidence of eddies and vortices.
Water ripples are forming in very shallow water of a Piedmont stream as it flows over orange bedrock. The rock is a metamorphosed argillite (fine-grained sedimentary rock) whose present color is the result of weathering in an oxygen-rich environment. Algae has grown preferentially in planar, nearly vertical fractures in the rock called joints.
The stream is in Uwharrie National Forest, North Carolina.
This fungus Laetiporus cincinnatus is one of the varieties of “the chicken mushroom” (or “chicken of the woods”), so-called because of its stringy flesh and the perception by some fungus eaters of a chicken-like taste. This species often grows at the base of a live oak tree and sometimes separately but parasitic on the tree’s roots. The caps are shelf-like and form rosettes.
This specimen was discovered on an upland surface at the slope break between metamorphosed volcanic rocks and sedimentary rocks in the Uwharrie National Forest of North Carolina.
These are images of mushrooms from the Uwharrie National Forest in Montgomery County, North Carolina. The fungi are from the genus Amanita (Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Amanitaceae). The bulbous stem base and other features put these in Amanita section Lepidella. I have not attempted to determine a species. These are relatively young. When mature, they will have a characteristic mushroom shape with gills.
The Amanita are very common in North Carolina. Some are edible but some are also deadly, and the variants are hard to identify. The caps of these specimens have not opened yet. Early on, they may look like puffballs, but a cross-section (see one of the images below) will show the developing mushroom shape. These particular mushrooms have swollen, bulbous stem bases that are conjoined. The stem and base are somewhat shaggy. The caps are covered by dense warts. These species do not discolor when bruised (some Amanita do), have a mild scent, and a dense flesh like bread dough.
All of the images you see here are from a relatively small area under a hardwood, mainly oak, cover and in very rocky soil. As usual, I discovered these specimens on the way to doing something else, in this case geologic mapping but I expected to see many fungi because it was June, peak season, and not long after heavy rain. Enjoy the mini-tour.
Flat Creek southeasterly through Lancaster County, South Carolina. The stream feeds into Lynches River, that farther southeast joins the Great Pee Dee River. The Pee Dee joins the Waccama River at Georgetown on the SC Atlantic Coast.
Flat Creek carries a heavy load of sediment. Where this image was made, the stream crosses the Pageland granite, a pluton that is about 300 million years old. The granite is coarse-grained and sheds considerable quartz and feldspar grains as it weathers and erodes.
This image is a 180° panorama around a meander bend in Flat Creek. Lower water velocity on the inside of the meander causes the coarser sediment load to drop out to form a sandy point bar. The near bank of the river is being undercut by erosion on the outside of the meander where water velocity is greater. In time, the stream channel will migrate toward this cut bank.
It’s difficult to see in the shadows, but in the lower left corner of the photograph a tributary trickles into the main channel, and there are abundant beaver tracks there. Beavers use the tributary mouth as a slide.
In the lower right corner of the photograph you can see a boulder of Pageland granite. It’s rounded shape is characteristic of spheroidal weathering of a larger mass of granite bedrock.
Not far to the southeast, Flat Creek crosses from Piedmont igneous and metamorphic rocks into sedimentary rocks of the Sandhills.
This image was made late on a Spring afternoon under a brilliant blue sky reflecting off the water’s surface and under the long shadows of hardwood trees yet to put out theire leaves.
High Rock Lake is one of several impoundments on the Yadkin-Pee Dee river system in the North Carolina Piedmont. Flat Swamp Creek is, or was, a tributary to the Pee Dee River. After the High Rock reservoir filled Flat Swamp Creek became a narrow, northeast-trending arm to the larger lake. This arm is so linear because it follows a geologic contact between metasedimentary rocks to the east and metavolcanic rocks to the west. The stratification in these rocks is tilted by folding, and differential erosion created narrow ridges and valleys. Flat Swamp Creek occupies one of those valleys.
At the Flat Swamp access area off Highway 8 the shoreline is littered by abundant gastropod shells. These are the remains of an invasive snail Bellamya japonica. It’s reported that their presence is the consequence of snail farming (they are pretty large). The day I was there in February, 2018, the waterway was hosting hundreds of water birds.
During low water, there are great exposures of stratification and cleavage in tuffaceous siltstone and sandstone of the Cid Formation. Nearby, to the southwest and below the High Rock dam, there are volcaniclastic rocks in the Flat Swamp member of the Cid Formation. This formation and the adjacent older Tillery Formation are part of the Ediacaran to Cambrian Albemarle Group in the Carolina Terrane. These are peri-Gondwanan sequences, attached to Laurentia (ancient North America) only since the Ordovician period.
Ripples are periodic waveforms throughout the natural environment. These subaqueous asymmetrical wave ripples in sand under the Pee Dee River in North Carolina are created by oscillatory wave motions normal or slightly oblique to the shoreline.