Showing posts from 2021

Putnam County Crime Rate

Putnam County, Tennessee is located approximately equidistant between Nashville and Knoxville along Interstate 40. It's the hub of the Upper Cumberland region. Due to misinformation being proliferated on social media , I am providing this public dataset in a digestible format. Trends within the data show Tennessee Tech University (TTU) as having a very small per capita report crime rate, where Cookeville tends to have the highest crime rate. Small municipalities show broad variations in annual change, which is to be expected with smaller populations. Broadly, the crime rate has been decreasing for the last 20 years. The Tennessee line is a good broad estimate of what the larger regional trend is. The strong drop in Cookeville and Putnam's crime rate at 2020 likely shows the effects of the Coronavirus. The tables above show the data as it was provided from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's database, TIBRS.

Cave Locations on the Internet

As any conservation minded individual will tell you, having a cave location be public knowledge is usually a recipe for disaster. It's a very well documented phenomena that people break cave formations, vandalize caves with spray paint and other mediums, and leave gross amounts of trash behind. Even well meaning hikers and outdoors people may not realize the nuance of landowner relations and by accessing private property may upset relationships that cavers have worked hard to develop so that we may have access to caves. The proliferation of geodata in many accessible forms is eroding the secrecy that the caving community has long used to protect underground resources. Here's a guide with suggestions on how one can protect these sensitive places from occuring on Internet. Jump to... Google Maps OSM - Open Street Map Google Maps The first thing to realize about Google maps is that deleting a feature is nearly impossible. It's possible to "take ownership&q

Standing Stone State Park and State Forest

For the purpose of this blog post I will be treating Standing Stone State Park and Standing Stone State Forest as a single entity. However, they are distinct, and are managed by different entities with different objectives. Both the State Park and State Forest are located entirely within Overton County, Tennessee about 10 miles northwest of the city of Livingston. Fullscreen map. Standing Stone State Park Standing Stone State Park is approximately 1000 acres surrounding Standing Stone Lake. It is itself surrounded by 8000 acres of State Forest of the same name. The park is a celebration of the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). The large earthwork dam is made of hewn sandstone. Being a State Park, this area is managed for recreation. Camping there is popular at their rustic cabins. Most people come for hiking trails, fishing, and for paddle boats or kayaking on the small lake. Standing Stone State Forest There seems to be a degree of confusion as to the mea

Window Cliffs State Natural Area

Geography Window Cliffs State Natural Area is located on the Eastern Highland Rim of Tennessee . It is a few miles south of Cookeville, and within Putnam County. It is within the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee, and within Middle Tennessee. Cane Creek flows through the designated natural area before its confluence with the Falling Water River at Center Hill Lake. Botany In the valley alongside Cane Creek one can find abundant flowering patches of phacelia, phlox, and trilliums. Along the rocky ledges and cliffs watch for bright red flowers of columbine. In a few places you'll also see usnea clinging to dead trees and be reminded of Spanish moss. Geology Cliffs of Fort Payne Limestone atop steep slopes of Chattanooga Shale are the obvious geology throughout the park. The base of the valleys is Catheys-Leipers Limestone, but doesn't play a large roll in the story that one sees at the Window Cliffs. In the above recreation of a map made by Hugh Mill

City Lake in Cookeville, Tennessee

Photo credit Annabelle Dempsey City Lake is an artificial impoundment located near Cookeville's Eastlake subdivision. It is within property managed by the city of Cookeville as a park, named City Lake Natural Area . While the history of City Lake in Cookeville is fascinating , I could never cover it as well as Jennie Ivey has. I will simply leave you with a brief explanation of the local geology. The karst spring which feeds the waterfall is formed at the contact of the St. Louis and Warsaw Limestones ( more about those types of waterfalls here ). It is a type of geologic contact based waterfall that is seen throughout the region. Other places include Milligan Road spring, Piper Falls, High Hope Falls, and Peters Falls (all in White County, Tennessee). The reason for this is due to an abundance of chert acting as an aquatard either in the lower portion of the St. Louis, or upper portion of the Warsaw Limestone. This prevents water from moving vertically and forces its latera

Unnamed Cave 61

Throughout a caver's career, certain caves stand out as important, or defining to them. Unnamed Cave 61 is the cave that stands out for me (the cave does have a name, but in the convention of archaeological sites, we do not share its name). I was present when the discovery of its prehistoric art was first made. I initially brought cavers there on a lead by a neighbor. We believed that we were the first to have documented the cave, but later learned that it had been previously described, but the location was wrong. I corrected the error and merged the records within the Tennessee Cave Survey dataset. This cave I have come to think of as "mine" though I in no way own or have any particular claim to it. All that serves to preface my walkthrough of the cave, and its amazing contents. In this first image of the panel, one can see it naturally. It was photographed with painted light from a headlamp by a tripod mounted camera at close