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Old Jul 13, 2010, 7:53 AM   #1
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Been gone for about a week, helping with a hiking event in the Smokies, based at Tremont (Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is the full name...) Could not take a lot of photos (hike leader needs to watch the people more than the camera...), but did get a few interesting shots.
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 7:55 AM   #2
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As usual for me, was enjoying the details and "little bits" of our trips as much as the broad sweep of the mountains. Here are some of the bits - an Aphrodite Fritillary, a Polyphemus moth caterpillar, and a red-spotted newt.
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 7:57 AM   #3
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Despite a very dry few weeks, there were some fine fungi along the trail up Bote Mountain.
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 7:59 AM   #4
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The Turk's Cap Lily was just starting to bloom (will look for more here locally next week.). And we saw plenty of a strange parasitic plant called Dodder. Dodder is a flowering plant, but has no chlorophyll - it lives as a parasite on other plants. Sometimes called "love vine" - that's a strange kind of love!!
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 8:02 AM   #5
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Of course, all the great blooms in the mountains meant many great views of the pollinators. Here are some bees (leaf cutter bees?) working swamp milkweed, a pearl crescent on black eyed susan, a pipevine swallowtail on bee balm (they never hold their wings still when nectaring!), and a spicebush swallowtail on common milkweed.
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 8:04 AM   #6
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Tremont is very close to Cade's Cove, so I had one early morning to bicycle out to the cove (it's closed to vehicles on Wednesday mornings...) Did not take many photos then either - having too much fun cycling. But here are a few views of the mts surrounding the coves, and the wild turkeys wandering through...
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 8:08 AM   #7
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Our longest hike of the week was up to Rocky Top (near the top of Thunderhead Mt). One of the finest views in the Smokies - but there was just too much haze, dust & smog in the air that day. Still a great hike!
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 8:10 AM   #8
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Also saw lots of dragonflies & damselflies (our continuing study...), but will post these over at the MACROS section of the forum.

We are so blessed to have so many fine National & State Parks in our region. Hope you enjoyed this tour of just a few small facets of the gem that is the Great Smoky Mts!

Thanks for any comments, critique and suggestions!
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 9:49 AM   #9
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You've been a busy boy! Beautiful pictures of beautiful country. The butterfly shots are particularly well done. The last shot in the series is a gem!

Lou
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 11:59 AM   #10
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Lovely series of beautiful countryside Mole. Blue bees ? I've never seen anything like that !
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