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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:37 AM   #1
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Default Laurel Run Park

Laurel Run is a county park in Hawkins County TN. A great playground, some fine ball fields, good views of the Holston River, and a fine trail that leads up into the higher country of Bays Mt. Took a little hike there on Saturday, and here are a few of the scenes along the way. First a reminder of where we are:
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:39 AM   #2
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Much of the trail runs close to the creek - Laurel Run. It's a fine little stream, most of it spring fed and forested. It's still running rather low despite the wet summer, because our groundwater levels have not yet recovered from the previous few years of near-drought.
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:41 AM   #3
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This is an amazing trail for wildflowers in the spring, but a bit too shady for most late summer blooms. But there are a few open spots with bloom, and here are a few samples (Lobelia and Joe Pye Weed with a Tiger Swallowtail "friend").
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:44 AM   #4
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Those sunny openings are also great habitat for some cold-blooded friends. Here's a Katydid waiting for the sun to come back, and a Lizard (I believe he's a Fence Swift) who has found his place in the sun. Which pose of the Swift do you prefer?
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:45 AM   #5
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Back to the deep shade brings us to some amazing diversity of mushrooms - it's been a banner year for all kinds of fungus here!
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:46 AM   #6
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Parts of the trail are in much younger woodlands, places that were farms up until the 1920's or so. There are still some remains of the old homesites.
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:49 AM   #7
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This old house has a vulture's nest inside! Could not get a good shot of the "buzzard" this time (they kept trying to throw up at me!) - will return later for another try.
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:50 AM   #8
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One of the big attractions of this trail are several small waterfalls. The higher falls - Kiner Creek Falls - was dried up to a trickle. Will return in early spring to bring you back a good photo. But Laurel Run Falls, although very low, was still quite lovely and refreshing.
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 5:52 AM   #9
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We hiked on up to Bays Mt in hopes of some good views, but the clouds and rain moved back in (and my camera moved back into the backpack, away from the rain!). Hope you enjoyed the hike photos, and hope to see you "out on the trail" one of these day!
Would be very happy for any critique or comments. Thanks!!
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Old Aug 31, 2009, 11:55 AM   #10
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Have you thought about producing a photographic guidebook to your State Park(s)? No one could do it better.
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