Mother’s Day hike, 2011

which actually took place on Saturday, May 7 this year.  DH chose the profile trail of the Grandfather Mountain area.  The grandfather’s face here below was captured from a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook near the Linn Cove Viaduct.  Since the viaduct was specially constructed to minimize destruction of wildlife habitat on Grandfather Mountain, I must assume that this is some other grandfather.

grandfather's profile labeled

bearded old man mountain

The part of the Grandfather Mountain area where we were walking is known as the backcountry.  It has been acquired by the NC State Parks system and there is no charge to park and hike here. There is a shelter at the trailhead where hikers are required to fill out a form for a permit.

trailhead

Profile Trail Trailhead Shelter

We only hiked perhaps 3/4 mile, partially because we arrived late in the day, and partially because I had to stop so many times to take pictures, but mostly because we’re an out of shape bunch who can only hike straight up for so long. The part of the trail I saw was beautiful, and easily walkable, and so many flowers were in bloom.

wildflowers 1

these pretty blue ones were everywhere!

lots of these, and these:

wildflowers 2

little meadows full of these!

another shot of the blue ones:

wildflowers 3

so pretty!

and the only trillium I saw, which was missing a petal, which I guess makes it only a billium:

billium

a billium, I guess

perhaps it is late in the season for these at this altitude? But it was that pretty anyway, so I included the picture. This tree is valiantly clinging to the bank of the Watauga River, which has been trying to undercut it for who knows how long:

amazing perseverance

amazing perseverance

and this one was probably split by lightning. They are both wonderful examples of the amazing perseverance of nature.

still undefeated

still undefeated

a gossamer-winged damselfly sitting on a rock by the river:

damselfly

damselfly

this fallen tree with its silver bark and lichen encrustations is begging to be a yarn colorway, don’t you think?

lichen and silver

lichen and silver

and this stump with its fungus fans just has to be a fairy castle:

a fungus I can love

fairy castle

I’m loving this tradition of the Mother’s Day walk in the woods. I hope there are many more.

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