September 2012 Tri Trogs General Meeting

Sept 25, 2012

Attendance:  7 Cavers:
Carlin, Ken, Martin, Ava, Mark D, Jacob, and new caver David Perry!  David shared an extended introduction saying he grew up thinking about caves, drawing caves, etc but only recently visited his first wild cave in Indiana and was hooked! His relative Clay Perry was a famous early caver who popularized the term “spelunking.”  The cave David visited in Indiana was Dog Hill cave, some flowstone etc
He will be going w Ava to Tawney’s soon and they want to find Doans cave too and ridge walk.  Everyone is glad there is no hunting on Sunday in VA.

Sadly David plans to move to CA next year

Old Business – Grotto loaner lights to be replaced soon.  Ava to work with Mike B. 
New business Agreed to purchase a new canopy to replace the one destroyed by the Derecho storm at Convention.   Not needed until Spring so time to shop sales etc.   Marting suggested Harbor Freight for cheap, quality ok. Other suggestions, REI garage sale, on line sources, etc. Ava and ken will shop specs and prices and report back on price range. 10 x 10′ Or so, desire one much lighter and easy to transport than old one.  

Howard offers his place for holiday party!  Details TBD

Ken discussed an article in VA Region Record from this summer on bat trends in VA. 4 yrs of WNS in VA. not all species affected same. Most common species are affected most so total bat counts way down. East small foot rare to Start with so hard to gauge impact.

No grey bat deaths observed . Endangered big nose seems immune. Some species get it but don’t die

Bat counts dropped around 80 % since 2009
Fungus found on only one Indiana bat in VA. Some bats found in previously uninhabited caves. Passed article around for folks to see further details and statistics.
The situation for Bats described by the article sounds grim overall. They are not finding banded bats again, so hard to track them.  Not returning to same place

There was also an article in today’s N and O about artificial cave in TN being used to study bats and try to provide a cleanable roost for them.  It is close to natural caves and we discussed our doubts that this approach will work with the bats freely visiting natural caves nearby.  

One other item of new business- Carlin and Ken went to VAR meeting recently- one member of VAR was hit by his own tow truck w serious injuries. Get well card passed around for all attendees to sign and send to Craig. Last Monday was the accident.  

Trip Reports
Rob Harris went to Old Timer’s Reunion.  He also went caving but nothing special, Ava reports. 

VAR Jacob, Tonya, Carlin, Ken, Ava, got there about midnight and led trip signups were full. Did Bells Valley caves wet and dry along dirt road (which passes for freeway in that area) Dry was 300 ft long lots of critter scat.  Cave was fun and  quick. All but Tonya went to wet cave. Critters, rim stone, enough water to swim. Chest deep water. Looked for another cave didn’t find. Found snapping turtle. Carlin shared some pictures and video .

That night at VAR good band and program, slack line, on way home Sunday visited Devils Marble Yard rock play ground above ground builder field.   No one knows how this unique field of small, sharp boulders was formed. 

Upcoming trips9/28 Group of TriTrogs going to Common Ground theatre in Durham to see play of Harold and Maude. Call for reservations, 919 698 3870 at theatre. Play runs for 2 weeks.

Oct 4 tag fall cave in. Pete and Carlin going Fri-SunTavelling Thurs and Sunday. 9 hr drive. vertical cave, plenty of horizontal caves too.

Oct 20 cold sink survey
Oct 20 Tawneys sport trip. Ava waiting list. 6 on for now, beginners, near Blacksburg at bat ranch. Walk from camp.  Want to keep the numbers low but if another leader goes could form 2 groups. 
Nov 17 Worleys VA survey.  Also Hancock bat count or lovers leap survey that weekend
Forearm pad may help in the remaining Worley’s tight survey
Nov 18 Rowland creek vertical spot trip Dave
Photo trip Diana and Matthew W. maybe wet Bells Valley Cave?

TAG (TN, AL, GA area) at Thanksgiving?
We studied the just published map of Rowand Creek including the drops and interesting features

Break at 8:52
Program Nova Science Now video on earthquakes in the midwest that centered on cave study and geology

Post Meeting gathering was at Boylan Bridge Brew Pub.   Everyone agreed it was an excellent place, which featured decent original craft beers and the best hamburger in the Solar system, if not the Universe. 

Next meeting October 23rd.  (4th of 5 Tuesdays)
November meeting will be Nov 27, right after Thanksgiving weekend.
December meeting will be the Holiday Party