Late May in the North Carolina mountains is a special time to see early flowering trees and plants. Dave and I managed one nice hike on Black Rock Mountain in Panthertown before the deluge of rain hit, a result of Tropical Storm Alberto.
Thanks to lots of rainfall this spring, the mountains are lush.
Enjoy our hike.
A sea of ferns.
Look closely to see a hemlock tree looking healthy with new growth. The mountains have been devastated with the loss of many eastern hemlocks due to the wooly adelgid. Huge numbers of hemlocks have died. Could this tree be a good sign?
This bright orange eft, a juvenile newt is so colorful against the trail. All newts are salamanders, but not all salamanders are newts, accoring to wikipedia. We saw 4 on our hike.
“The neon orange red eft boldly crawls about in broad daylight because it has toxins in its skin that makes it foul tasting.”, according to the Western North Carolina Nature Center. Interesting fact. I wondered why Sheldon, our mini whoodle, totally ignored this bright salamander, even though his strong terrier instinct goes into overdrive at our Florida home, chasing every green anole and lizard he meets.
View from Blackrock Mountain looking over Panthertown Valley with Chimney Top Mountain, Rock Mountain and Whiteside Mountain in the distance, all favorite mountains.
Love the patterns of the gravel and granite trail.
Think the shapes and patterns could inspire an abstract painting.
Favorite May flora seen on the hike.
Mountain Laurel ready to burst into bloom.
Bristly Locust Tree blossom
Pine tree new foliage
Rain clouds are gathering
We were thrilled to see a few pink lady slippers on the trail.
It was so nice to get this one hike in before the rains came. Tropical storm, Alberto seemed to stall right over our mountains. This catawba rhododendron was in full bloom when we arrived…the rain…
The view from our house of Laurel Knob during a rain delay…The white streaks are waterfalls streaming over the granite rock face…not an everyday occurrance.
Going a little stir crazy as are the bears and deer. We had a bear visit us. Walked right up the outside stair, not 20 feet from me. (I was outside) Yikes! Scared the bejesus out of me. I dropped (threw) my sketching pencils and screamed. Don’t know who was more scared. He ran off into the woods.
Looked just like this one…Our painting…Miller Bear by friend, Karen Weihs, Colorist Of The Carolinas.
Into The Woods…
Come celebrate with me. I’ll save you a seat on the trail.