Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blue Ridge flower hike

Pink mountain laurel in bloom on Bluff Mountain

It was a perfect day and I was hiking my very favorite kind of trail - high rolling open meadow.  45 years ago I started my backpacking life hiking above timberline in the Colorado mountains, and it seems that you never forget your first love.

As in Colorado, this time of year in the mountains is a riot of color.  I decided to photo-document the flowers I passed today.  I ended up spending so much time 'smelling the roses' that I hiked less than ten miles for the day.  But ten glorious miles it was.  The only actual rose I saw was the multiflora rose - a problem invasive native to Europe.

Many of the other flowers I photographed I haven't had time to identify.  Where I know an identity it's in the caption, and I'll add captions in the future if I can take the time to do the research.

Before getting to the flowers I want to share a few more scenic shots from the meadow walk over Bluff Mountain starting with a sneak peak back to Stone Mountain.

And now for the gallery of mountain flowers:

Mountain laurel, typical flower cluster
a variety of locust, I believe this remains a shrub
Looks like stars in a galaxy.  Each petal has a dark dot in the middle
Special find - pink lady slipper - an orchid
Queen Anne's Lace
good old red clover
Flame azalea, red variation
The kind of amazing display flame azaleas can put on
Flame azalea, yellow variation

Finally, I can't forget my obligatory 'hat of the day' shot.

This is Hat Number Ten, and my first trail find during the current MST thru-hike.  Found it on one of the roadside causeways during the hike along Falls Lake.

Here's the hike route plotted on a map.  For the complete slide show, click on the title line:

MST Day 65 - Bluff Mountain at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Virginia

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