Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring in the Smokies

Flowers are in bloom in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, the annual 'Wildflower Pilgrimage' is underway and we're trying to avoid the crowd.

We have taken our own wildflower hikes recently and have not been disappointed. I will share a few of the sights we've encountered along the way.

4.20.09 - Porters Creek Trail ~7.5 miles roundtrip.

A drab day that developed into a steady drizzle, still there were many flower gawkers along the first half of the trail. And rightfully so, there was quite a show of blooms to observe.

The rain set in as we continued onward.

We passed nobody between Fern Branch Falls and backcountry campsite #31, which surprised me as this was prime flower-viewing grounds. A little rain never slows us down, we broke out the ponchos and enjoyed the solitude.

I stopped to tie my shoe and behold, we spot a little brown bat neatly wedged into a crevice in the rock face, about 7 feet up.... not a cave by any means, but any shelter in damp weather.....

Much of the ground was a virtual carpet of white trillium, and we were treated to see wild geranium, foam flower, bluets, phlox, violets, dwarf crested iris, and a quite a few more.

The combination of drab lighting, wind and rain made for difficult photography (not to mention I never drag along my tripod). I still managed to take a wad of photos and had a great time.

I have posted more flower shots on flickr from this hike and others.

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