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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:49 AM   #1
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Default A few more Mountain hikes

Had the time to take two more mountain hikes this past weekend, and only now have the time to post some photos!
We visited Grassy Ridge up on Roan Mt again, and also hiked from Limestone Cove up Unaka Mountain to Stamping Ground Ridge & Horseback Ridge. Had wonderfully clear bright weather for both hikes, and great friends to share the views!
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:51 AM   #2
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This is Gentian season - we saw lots of gentian (several species) in bloom on both mountains. Usually it's full of bumblebees, but the wind kept them off this time. But we did spot one much smaller creature enjoying the blooms!
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:52 AM   #3
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It's also Goldenrod season on the mountains, and we saw several species, including the paler kind called "Silverrod."
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:53 AM   #4
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Aralia berries were ripe, and we expected to see some birds feasting, but only found the berries...
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:55 AM   #5
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And the ferns were especially lush up on Unaka Mountain. Here are some in the shade & in sun...
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:56 AM   #6
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Up on Roan we did find one of the rare endemic flowers - the Mt Myrtle - still in bloom.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:57 AM   #7
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But mostly we found the great views!
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:59 AM   #8
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And Stamping Ground Ridge was also rich in fine scenery - thanks to the lush vegetation and the resistant quartzite rock...
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 7:01 AM   #9
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We never did see any of the bears at Unaka, but did find this freshly-torn Hornet nest, where a bear had eaten his fill of larvae and scattered the crumbs around...
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 7:02 AM   #10
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And there were plenty of "little critters," like this Black Swallowtail caterpillar.
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