Friday, May 13, 2011

Snake Crossing

I encountered this beautiful critter as I drove down Meadow Fork Road near Spring Creek, North Carolina. He stopped and posed for the shot and then, hopefully, made it all the way across the road. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wildflowers and Plants in Eastern Tennessee

After the short hike to Red Fork Falls (see previous posting), I took a drive along Forest Service Road 230 aka Unaka Mountain Road -- and spotted early spring in the higher elevations.


Wild Strawberry

May Apple

The Appalachian Trail runs just behind this fence at a place called Beauty Spot. It certainly is!

Berries and Plant Life at Red Fork Falls

Red Fork Falls

These falls are not the easiest to find.

There are no markings.

It is definitely worth the effort to seek them out. They are among the most beautiful that I have seen in the last few weeks. The falls ride down steps of stones with bright green moss along the edges. The falls are about 75 or so feet high.

The trip to the base of the falls is a bit treacherous because of the slippery rocks.  Bushes and trees come in handy to ease the trip up and down.
The scramble to the bottom of the falls via a rough trail.

At the base of the falls, there's a small pool, although, I am not sure it would be safe to climb in since small stones do come over the falls; however, it was tempting to climb in because of the 81 degree heat today. Just above the pool is a large rock that is perfect to lie on. The mist and cool breeze feel absolutely terrific.

The pool at the base was very tempting!

About a quarter of the way down

Top of the Falls
Red Fork Falls are in Eastern Tennessee near Erwin and just off Unaka Mountain Road.  When you see the big orange circle painted on a tree by the road, you've reached the pull out!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Jerry Miller Trail

The Jerry Miller Trail is in the Shelton Laurel Back Country area of Madison County, North Carolina and offers quite a variety -- hardwoods, lots of rhododendron, a slick rock waterfall and a beautiful little meadow that was filled with wildflowers and plants.

I spotted a variety of plants, lizards and snails along the way and snapped them with my camera.

I love this "natural" design!

Another hiker I encountered this morning.

Waterfall along the Jerry Miller Trail

This guy looks cozy surrounded by ferns and other green life.

Blackberries in the meadow along the Jerry Miller Trail.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Some up close blossoms from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mount Pisgah and from my dad's orchard.
Blueberries in the Orchard

Blackberries?  Along the Parkway

Blueberry Blossoms