Saturday, March 22, 2014

This Proves It! It's Finally SPRING!

After such an arduous winter, it seems even the wildflowers are slow to make their appearance out of their warm beds of leaf litter, but they have finally begun to pop their beautiful heads out.  My daughter, Kacey, and I drove up to Chestnut Top Trail across from the Townsend Wye yesterday to see what we could find.  We've been making this trek almost religiously since she was about 8 years old (now she's 22) to search for the tiny treasures found on the lower quarter mile stretch of this trail.  Our fascination with the wildflowers of the Smoky Mountains began when we went to our first Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage held annually in Gatlinburg.  It includes short guided hikes during which we began to learn where to find the flowers, what their names are, and developed an intense appreciation for what many people simply walk right past every year on trails without even noticing their existence.  For us, the yearly treks in search of these tiny beauties built a stronger mother-daughter bond and helped develop a love of photography in my daughter.  She has a knack for noticing things I walk right past and being able to capture them on film (well, not really film, but in megapixels, I guess!)

So when, at 22 years old, she called me the other day to ask if I would go with her to look for some wildflowers, I jumped at the chance to spend a little time with the treasure of my life.  Since she's out on her own now, that time together is increasingly precious to me.  This little stretch of trail was our choice for today because of its lower elevation and the fact that it's sunny bank leads to some of the earliest appearances of our day's quarry.

Spring Beauty
What we found today was Bloodroot (pictured above), Hepatica, Long-spurred Violets, and Spring Beauty.  The yellow trillium was almost ready to bloom, but we were a little early for that one.

Hopefully, we will return repeatedly over the next month or so in search of more Smoky Mountain Wildflowers, but I feel blessed to be able to take part in these quests with her and to have passed along my love for these mountains to her.

For more information about the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, check HERE.
Yellow Trillium

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