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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:21 PM   #1
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Default Carvers Gap to Grassy Ridge

Had some time yesterday to take a few young friends on one of my favorite short (about 4 mile) hikes in the high country - across the grassy balds of Roan Mt from Carvers Gap to Grassy Ridge. Here are just a few highlights from this wonderful hike.
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:23 PM   #2
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These high (over 5,000 ft) grassy balds are home to many unique plants, like the Mt Angelica. In the early summer, it's full of bees and wasps, who seem to get slightly drunk on the nectar! Now in early autumn it's empty of insects and full of ripening seeds.
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:24 PM   #3
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Not all the high country plants are finished with their blooms. We found at least 3 different species of Goldenrods in full bloom, and also full of happy, pollen-dusted bumblebees!
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:26 PM   #4
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We also found two species of Gentians (Appalachian Gentian and Stiff Gentian) full of their amazing blooms, and with a few busy bee visitors.
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:27 PM   #5
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Coreopsis was still in bloom at the edge of some amazing drop-offs.
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:28 PM   #6
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And the rare, endemic Sand Myrtle still had a few blooms. These are TINY plants - look more like a carpet of moss with pinhead-size white "sprinkles." But they sure are lovely up close!
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:31 PM   #7
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At these high elevations, there are still lots of ripe berries - our dogs probably ate nearly a gallon of blueberries apiece (we probably ate nearly that much!). And the birds were feasting on the Mt Ash berries (not very tasty to us!)
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:33 PM   #8
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It was a great day for mountain views too - the clouds kept blowing across, then moments of clear bright sky, then varied cloud patterns, then thick mist - a typical mt day. And there were LOTS of hikers out enjoying this great day!

(By the way, the second view is my first attempt at HDR, using a free software called Photosphere. It does seem to reveal more detail in the shady areas, but I think I like the first better. What do you think?)
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:34 PM   #9
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One of the young hikers was quoting John Muir - "Come to the mountains and get their glad tidings..." Sure hope you enjoyed these, and will give me some comments to help me improve...
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 6:42 PM   #10
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No comments for improvement. Just wish I could do as well as you.

Question - how do you resize to get your images so sharp online? Or course, starting with a sharper image helps, but I'm always amazed at how yours come through.

Patty
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