Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Blue Ridge, Rhododendrons and a Waterwheel

I made a short trip yesterday across Mt. Rogers, located in my corner of SW Virginia (the highest peak in Virginia, at 5,729 feet), going to see a friend near Boone, NC. I didn't actually cross Mt. Rogers, but Whitetop Mountain adjacent to it. Whitetop is the second highest peak in VA; it is unique for the fact that it represents an ecological "island" of flora and fauna commonly found much further north than Virginia, such as old growth red spruce and other northern hardwoods.

The rhododendrons were in full bloom along my trip! Everywhere that they looked truly spectacular, there was no place to pull over for a photo, or they were in too much shade.
Fortunately the friend I went to see has a bank of them in bloom along her creek next to the house and waterwheel her husband built. I wasn't willing to risk walking across an old rickety footbridge to get a close-up of a bloom, so this shot will have to do. (One of these days I hope to get a good camera and learn to take better photographs.)

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