Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hunting Wild Flowers along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway.
When the alarm went off at 3:30am this past Saturday morning I was tempted to roll over and go back to sleep but I had been looking forward to this all weekend and eventually rolled out of bed and set off for the 2+ hour drive to milepost 301 and vicinity searching for a sunrise before joining others at the Linville Falls visitor center. As luck would have it, what seemed like a great sunrise developing in the end fizzled out into very pale and washed out colors. In for a dime, in for a buck so I continued to MP316 to meet up with the others and try to get some good wildflower images. Played around near the Linville Falls picnic grounds for the first hour or so and learned a lot about lichen and wildflowers from Bob Phipps who is a plant expert. Didn't get many keepers there but enjoyed the company. The outing leader then gave us directions to an area that was loaded with "Turks Caps" and other wildflowers and this was a bit more promising. Just in case you (like me) had no idea what a "Turks Cap" was I have posted an image of one for you to enjoy. I then moved on to the Linville Falls visitor center and started out on the trail to the falls where there was a field of "Bee Balm". The Bee Balm was a bit worn and failed to inspire me so turned around and went back to the picnic area to visit with the others. John, our leader, led us on a short hike to a spot to view "Duggers Falls". The light was a bit harsh but it was a delightful little quiet spot. I am sharing an image of "Duggers Falls" with you!!