Seeing Old Friends for the Very First Time
Submitted by Devon Higginbotham, Indigo Travel Company
|Purple Wakerobin, Trillium erectum, Blue Ridge Mountains|
Growing up in Miami, I had never witnessed the transformation of spring and, to this day, I can still recall marveling at the translucent spring leaves as they fluttered in the breeze. It was a transforming trip. But, as I’ve found over the years, the Appalachians have that effect.
|Blue Ridge Trail|
So we set out for the three highest peaks in the states of Georgia (Brasstown Bald), North Carolina (Mount Mitchell) and Tennessee (Clingmans Dome). September in Florida is hot and balmy so what better place to spend a week but in the cool, rainforests of the Appalachians. What we found was a botanical paradise. Spring was in a dozen stages of development depending on the elevation.
|Birds nest, Brasstown Bald|
parking lot and chatted away as we drive the half mile to the top. The Visitor Center was a stone museum with a path that winds around the building to the entrance. As I passed the stone base, I was attracted to the flowers clinging to the stones. As I stepped off the trail to take a closer look I was
startled by a small bird that darted from the profuse mosses that clung to the stones, narrowly missing my brow. On closer inspection, I spied her nest, neatly tucked into the blooms of stonecrop, ferns and mosses with 4 creamy white eggs, speckled with brown. If she had not fled, her nest would have remained her secret alone.
|Fir Cones, Mount Mitchell|
|View of Mount Mitchell from Clingman's Dome|
Driving back down the mountain we had to pause to allow a flock of turkey hens across the road. Before long, they would be trailing a cluster of fluffy poults.
|Catesby's Trillium, Brasstown Bald|
Join FNPS on September 10-15, 2017 when we visit the Appalachians with fellow native plant enthusiasts. Check out the itinerary at www.indigotravelcompany.com or contact Devon Higginbotham at 813-478-1183 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.