Sunday, April 19, 2009

Smokies Landscapes

This is a tough time of the year for landscapes in the Smokies. The trees are still very brown and on this particular trip the clouds were all (cloudy or rainy) or none (stark blue sky and bright light). On this trip, I did not spend any time at the higher elevations due to these circumstances. So, I have a lot of images of creeks, some with dogwoods and some without due to the anthracnose blight that has killed many dogwoods.

The first image is of Porter Creek. This is the first time that I have visited this area. The wildflowers there are fantastic and the creek is very beautiful. The trail which follows the creek is mostly a gradual gravel road and is lined with wildflowers. Of particular note is the showy orchis. I had been searching at my other stops in the park for this small orchid, which is only about 3 inches tall. I finally found lots of them on the Porter Creek Trail. Unfortunately, they were still not in full bloom.

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