Creeper Trail

Creeper Trail
Virginia Western
Image by dmott9
What is known today as the Virginia Creeper Trail began as a railroad spur line from Abingdon to West Jefferson, N.C., owned by the Norfolk and Western Railroad. The railroad ceased operating in 1977 and was scheduled to be removed for salvage value. In 1982 the Town of Abingdon purchased the right-of-way through Damascus for the mere sum of ,000 and the U.S. Forest Service acquired the remainder to the North Carolina State line. By 2004, researchers estimated the trail’s annual impact on the local economy between .3 and .9 million, making this perhaps the best municipal investment in Abingdon history. Congress granted official designation as a National Scenic Recreation Trail in 1986, and formal dedication was held the following year.
Those who enjoy the trail today are indebted to community leaders with the foresight to establish the trail, as well as those who have maintained and promoted it through the years. Today, the Virginia Creeper Trail Club a nonprofit organization, continues to advocate and work in the same spirit.

www.creeperkeeper.com
www.abingdon.com
www.dcr.virginia.gov

Strasburg Railroad: The Virginia Creeper

On Saturday, February 13th, 2010, a select few stepped back in time for a day. Penn Rail Videos was apart of this select group, as Lerro Productions put on a fine recreation of the Norfolk & Western’s Abingdon Branch operations. The locomotive powering the train is #475 dressed up as N&W #382; a sister M-Class 4-8-0. She is also wearing a unique whistle; the same whistle the real #382 wore when she was in service. That means it’s NOT the shop-built 3-chime. So sit back, and enjoy this time-warp to a much simpler time in southern Virginia. Visit www.lerroproductions.com/photocharters for upcoming charter events. For photos of the event go here: chessie2101.smugmug.com

Morning Glory and Virginia Creeper

Morning Glory and Virginia Creeper
Virginia Western
Image by bill barber
Virginia creeper or five-leaved ivy (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a woody vine native to eastern and central North America, in southeastern Canada, the eastern and central United States, eastern Mexico, and Guatemala, west as far as Manitoba, South Dakota, Utah and Texas.

It is a prolific climber, reaching heights of 20 to 30 m in the wild. It climbs smooth surfaces using small forked tendrils tipped with small strongly adhesive pads 5 mm in size. The leaves are palmately compound, composed of five leaflets (rarely three leaflets, particularly on younger vines) joined from a central point on the leafstalk, and range from 3 to 20 cm (rarely 30 cm) across. The leaflets have a toothed margin, which makes it easy to distinguish from poison-ivy, which has three leaflets with smooth edges.

The flowers are small and greenish, produced in clusters in late spring, and mature in late summer or early fall into small hard purplish-black berries 5 to 7 mm diameter. These berries contain oxalic acid, which is poisonous to humans and other mammals, and may be fatal if eaten. However, accidental poisoning is uncommon, likely because of the bad taste of the berries. Despite being poisonous to mammals, they provide an important winter food source for birds. Oxalate crystals are also contained in the sap, and can cause irritation and skin rash [1]

From my set entitled “Morning Glory”
www.flickr.com/photos/21861018@N00/sets/72157607213945288/
In my collection entitled “The Garden”
www.flickr.com/photos/21861018@N00/collections/7215760718…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_glory

Morning glory is a common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae, belonging to the following genera:
Calystegia
Convolvulus
Ipomoea
Merremia
Rivea

As the name implies, morning glory flowers, which are funnel-shaped, open in the morning, allowing them to be pollinated by Hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other daytime insects and birds as well as Hawkmoth at dusk for longer blooming variants. The flower typically lasts for a single morning and dies in the afternoon. New flowers bloom each day. The flowers usually start to fade a couple of hours before the petals start showing visible curling. They prefer full sun throughout the day and mesic soils. In cultivation, most are treated as perennial plants in tropical areas and as annual plants in colder climates, but some species tolerate winter cold. Some moonflowers, which flower at night, are also in the morning glory family.

Morning glory is also called asagao (in Japanese, a compound of 朝 asa "morning" and 顔 kao "face"). A rare brownish-coloured variant known as Danjuro is very popular. It was first known in China for its medicinal uses, due to the laxative properties of its seeds. It was introduced to the Japanese in the 9th century, and they were first to cultivate it as an ornament. During the Edo Period, it became a very popular ornamental flower. Aztec priests in Mexico were also known to use the plant’s hallucinogenic properties. (see Rivea corymbosa).

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations used the morning glory species Ipomoea alba to convert the latex from the Castilla elastica tree and also the guayule plant to produce bouncing rubber balls. The sulfur in the morning glory’s juice served to vulcanize the rubber, a process pre-dating Charles Goodyear’s discovery by at least 3,000 years.[1]
Because of their fast growth, twining habit, attractive flowers, and tolerance for poor, dry soils, some morning glories are excellent vines for creating summer shade on building walls when trellised, thus keeping the building cooler and reducing heating and cooling costs.

Popular varieties in contemporary western cultivation include the Morning Glory "Sunspots" "Heavenly Blue", the moonflower, the cypress vine, and the cardinal climber. The cypress vine is a hybrid, with the cardinal climber as one parent.
In some places such as Australian bushland morning glories develop thick roots and tend to grow in dense thickets. They can quickly spread by way of long creeping stems. By crowding out, blanketing and smothering other plants, morning glory has turned into a serious invasive weed problem.

Ipomoea aquatica, known as water spinach, water morning-glory, water convolvulus, Ong-Choy, Kang-kung, or swamp cabbage, is popularly used as a green vegetable especially in East and Southeast Asian cuisines. It is a Federal Noxious Weed, however, and technically it is illegal to grow, import, possess, or sell. See: USDA weed factsheet. As of 2005, the state of Texas has acknowledged that water spinach is a highly prized vegetable in many cultures and has allowed water spinach to be grown for personal consumption. This is in part because water spinach is known to have been grown in Texas for more than fifteen years and has not yet escaped cultivation.[2] The fact that it goes by so many names means that it easily slips through import inspections, and it is often available in Asian or specialty produce markets.

The seeds of many species of morning glory contain ergot alkaloids such as the hallucinogenic ergonovine and ergine (LSA). Seeds of I. tricolor and I. corymbosa (syn. R. corymbosa) are used as hallucinogens. The seeds can produce similar effect to LSD when taken in the hundreds. Though the chemical LSA is illegal to possess in pure form, the seeds are found in many gardening stores, however, the seeds from gardening stores may be coated in some form of mild poison in order to prevent ingestion or methylmercury to retard spoilage.[3] They should not be taken by people with a history of liver disorders or hepatitis. They should not be taken by pregnant women as they can cause uterine contraction which can lead to miscarriage. Individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease (Heart attack, blood clot, and stroke) or a family history of such problems, and the elderly should avoid consuming these seeds due to their vasoconstrictive effects.[4][5][6]

Note that the plant known as Korean morning glory, Datura stramonium, is of a different species, is poisonous, and also produces hallucinogenic effects.

N&W 382: ‘The Virginia Creeper’ on the Abingdon Branch

As we head out early morning, we catch the Virginia Creeper making an early run through the snow covered Virginia countryside with see her mixed train. Then she’ll pause for a few hours for servicing before recoupling to her train. Then we see a local passenger train come in before the 382 continues on her way as the sun sets to reach her destination by night fall.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Flip Cam grab shots of the Virginia Creeper photo charter on the Strasburg Rail Road

These are just some grab shots on the family toy while I was shooting stills. Lerro Productions 02/13/2010 photo charter saw the Strasburg Rail Road steam locomotive N&W #475 painted and detailed as long gone sister #382. Complete the with custom whistle N&W engineer Nichols used on the real #382 in the 1950’s, #475 played the part of that locomotive O. Winston Link called the prettiest on the N&W. The mixed train recreates the famous “Virginia Creeper” which ran on the N&W’s Abingdon Branch.

Norfolk & Western “#382” storms through snow with the Virginia Creeper on the Strasburg Rail Road

Lerro Productions 02/13/2010 photo charter saw the Strasburg Rail Road steam locomotive N&W #475 painted and detailed as long gone sister #382. Complete the with custom whistle N&W engineer Nichols used on the real #382 in the 1950’s, #475 played the part of that locomotive O. Winston Link called the prettiest on the N&W. The mixed train recreates the famous “Virginia Creeper” which ran on the N&W’s Abingdon Branch. The location is in Lancaster County just west of Paradise, PA.