Appalachian Trail – Romancing the flowers in the Great Smoky Mountains

The delicate bluets caught my eye first.  I bent down to rake my hand through the delicate, sensual crop.  The incredible four-petaled flower was painted an almost painful pale blue.  It was breath-taking.  Something so ephemeral had never looked so glorious.


Bluets (Photo credit: Seuss.)

Early May along the Appalachian Trail.  The wildflowers were in bloom.  As I climbed above the village of Fontana Dam I was first taken with the sheer unfolding grandeur of the range as it unfolded.  Later, on reaching the main ridgeline, I would marvel at the views which embraced miles, and the mornings in which the “smoky” in Great Smoky Mountains illustrated itself in a tapestry of wispy clouds which wove among the stoic peaks that reflected the morning light while keeping the secrets of their coves in blue-gray shadows.

Everything was seemingly at once eerie and mystic in its calmness.  Hawks threaded the updrafts; beyond that was a Carolina blue sky whose vault is not replicated anywhere else.  I’d be lying if I said James Taylor’s familiar tune wasn’t playing inside my soul.  I was both humbled by the edenic world I trod through, and proud to claim this state as that where my roots lay.  In my mind — and heart — I was in Carolina.

I felt sad for those whose scheduled demanded they pass through this treasure weeks earlier.  Had they missed the flowers?  I understood why April 1 was the favored day to start the trail; that would put the average hiker within admiring distance of some of the most glorious and magnificent floral beauty to be found anywhere.

The accompanying video offers but a glimpse of the phenomenal floral display which occurs each year in the Southern Highlands.

1 Comment

Filed under Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Hiking, The Appalachian Trail, Timothy J. Hodges

One response to “Appalachian Trail – Romancing the flowers in the Great Smoky Mountains

  1. Pingback: Wildflowers of the Great Smoky Mountains (NC) | zoomeboshi

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