Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A morning on the Blue Ridge parkway

A wonderful aspect of being in the NC mountains is the proximity to the Southern Appalachians.

They're an ancient mountain range, noted for biodiversity of many species. A special aspect is the Blue Ridge Parkway, part of our National Park System, a long road that stretches from Shenondoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

An early morning walk had us ascending from Asheville (where the afternoon high would be close to ninety) to a foggy Craggy Gardens, well-known for the June Catawba rhododendron display.

Surprisingly, it was cool and foggy. Amazing. The temperature was close to 60° F.

This small bumblebee was still sleeping in a Catawba rhododenron flower. Check out the poricidal anthers characteristic of plants in the Ericaceae (the Heath or Blueberry family) -- just click on the photo for a closer look.


  1. Beautiful! I grew up close enough to the Parkway to drive up on a Sunday afternoon for a ride. I'm much too far east now - we usually try to make it a long weekend when we go. But the Parkway around Craggy Gardens is one of my favorite places to visit.

  2. SO jealous- over a hundred down here and very, very humid. Thankfully we've had a couple of afternoon thunderstorms.

  3. Thanks for this-- I always loved visiting Craggy, especially when the heat heat below.

  4. This was such a magical morning.

    The fog and mist were ethereal and cool, and a great counterpoint to the heat in the valleys below. We didn't even miss that we were late for the ejidos - they were two weeks early, and apparently suffered from hail damage shortly after flowering.


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