Thursday, May 8, 2008

Extolling Spring: Wildflowers

One of the great delights of living in Appalachia is the myriad of spring and summer wildflowers. Oftentimes our hikes turn into a series of slow, eagerly sidetracked observations of trailside foliage. Soon we're strolling off the trail to gaze at trillium, eagerly comparing notes about the various types we see. A real treat is spotting the shy Jack-in-the-pulpits, quietly pontificating to the sylvan floor.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Falls Ridge Preserve
Wildflowers provide an immersion in beauty, a tangible reminder that the world's a good place to be. Annie Dillard heralds the season and its pleasant perils in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:
Beauty itself is the language to which we have no key; it is the mute cipher, the cryptogram, the uncracked, unbroken code....It is spring. I plan to try to control myself this year, to watch the progress of the season in a calm and orderly fashion. In spring I am prone to wretched excess. I abandon myself to flights and compulsions; I veer into various states of physical disarray.
These photos were taken at the Nature Conservancy's Falls Ridge Preserve, a short drive from Blacksburg.

Trillium, Falls Ridge Preserve

May-apple, Falls Ridge Preserve
Next, a portfolio of wildflowers from a recent trip to the North Carolina Blue Ridge. These were taken along the Green Knob Trail, an old favorite near the Blue Ridge Parkway that wanders through streamside rhododendron, up through a beautiful field, finally cresting a ridge with a view of Grandfather Mountain.

A pair of trillium, showing off their various colors

Bluets springing up by crossed logs
Bloodroot, basking in the sun
A small, shy Jack
Yellow violet


FairiesNest said...

Beautiful photos ! I have to send you a great picture from our last visit that has you in the back ground hunkered down getting just the right shot.

we_be_toys said...

Oh my god, Gene - these are beautiful! Wildflowers are so much more exotic and lovely than garden flowers, in my opinion.

I came over from Cindy's site - howdy!!!