Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Nature Notes: Enjoying nature in the NC mountains
I got back today from a vacation in the North Carolina mountains (Blowing Rock, NC).
It's always interesting to me to watch the progression of fall colors from central NC where I live up to the higher elevations in the Northern NC mountains.
The shots in this post are all from the NC mountains where fall is in full swing and in some parts even past peak.
Where I live it will be well into November before we get to the peak colors.
The weather was perfect for hiking and exploring the whole time we were there.
It didn't start raining until our last night after we had already finished our hikes.
I love this time of the year. The natural world puts on a big show before starting to wind down for winter.
One of our more challenging hikes involved a lot of hopping across stones although in my case it's more very carefully placing my feet.
I love rocks and rushing water carving its streams through the mountains.
On the hikes where we had to cross streams a lot we were also doing a fair amount of climbing and descending.
As much as I love rocks I started getting tired and worried a bit about my footing as I made my way along the trail.
When we got to the ladder my reaction was, you've got to be kidding, but I managed to cope.
I spotted a lot of running cedar which is one of my favorite ground covers in the forest.
Fortunately, the end of the most challenging hike we took was easy walking so we could recover.
The figure ahead of me in the shot above and below is Bill.
We reached a field full of the white puffy stuff below that looks almost like cotton.
The rest of the shots are from another day when we walked on very easy trails which was fortunate since I'd used up a lot of my energy on the first two days.
I love reflections during the height of autumn.
I also find the forest very magical this time of year.
I always find magic in forests but the colors and fresh leaves add a layer of beauty.
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