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Old Mar 19, 2010, 6:50 AM   #1
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Default Early Spring on Holston Mt

Took the "old farm road" up the Bristol side of Holston Mt early yesterday, to try to catch the sunrise. This is an old, unmaintained trail that was once a dirt road to a high-country farm. It's also the quickest way up to the Appalachian Trail as it follows the spine of Holston Mt.

Had intended to run on up quickly for sunrise, but seeing the thick fog, realized there would be no hurry - no visible sunrise.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 6:51 AM   #2
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Despite recent days of 60 degree F temperatures, there were still a few patches of (rather dirty) snow on north and east facing slopes.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 6:52 AM   #3
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Damp weather on the mountain, and plenty of dead trees from a forest fire about 5-6 years ago, meant perfect conditions for a variety of fungi.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 6:54 AM   #4
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Heard lots of birds (tree sparrows, titmice, nuthatches, YR Warblers, etc) up high in the trees, but too much fog to see them. Did see lots of Deer in and out of the mist!

(these two were not taken on Holston Mt, but back at home a few days ago. The Holston Mt Deer were too shy for this slow photographer...)
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 6:57 AM   #5
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It's less than a mile up the old road to the App. Trail, and then less than a mile to one of the best views on the mountain - across Shady Valley and over to Iron Mt. The fog was just starting to clear as I got to this point, and so I paused for LOTS of photos. Here are some views taken with the DA 16-45:
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 6:59 AM   #6
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Was surprised to find that the Sigma 105 macro makes a pretty good landscape lens too. Here are some more Shady Valley views with that lens:
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 7:00 AM   #7
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And one panorama made with the 105:
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 7:01 AM   #8
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Even tried the A* 300 as a landscape lens - a different view of Shady Valley:
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 7:04 AM   #9
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Later in the day, back at our park, noticed another early spring wildflower in bloom. Coltsfoot is not native here, but was brought by the early settlers as a medicinal plant. It's now fairly common in open, damp places, and a nice bright reminder of history and of early spring.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 7:05 AM   #10
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While the bright sunshine lasted, had to take a few shots of one of our park's "neighbors" - a fine old barn...
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