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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:38 AM   #1
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Default Sunshine at Hump Mountain

Had some time Saturday to wander in the mountains. Was a beautifully bright warm day, so we decided to hike up from Hampton Creek Cove to Hump Mountain. The trail starts in the midst of a lush natural area, and we started early enough that it was still dewy & damp.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:41 AM   #2
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Hampton Creek Cove is a State Natural Area, designated and set aside for some rare bird populations.
With two loud & frisky dogs, we did not get to see most of the rare wildlife population! But we did spot a few of the common butterflies (painted lady, eastern comma, viceroy)
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:43 AM   #3
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With the abundant springs, Hampton Creek Cove is also a great place for amphibians (pickerel frog) and mushrooms. And the springs were full of fallen Buckeye hulls too!
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:45 AM   #4
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We climbed on up the Overmountain Victory Trail, beginning at about a 3,000' elevation in the cove, and up into the rich young woods. Autumn is already making its presence known in the higher forests. We saw many ripe fruits - here are Pokeberry, Hawthorne & Doll's Eyes.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:45 AM   #5
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Pickled frog & fresh mushrooms ... mmm sounds delicious

Beautifully composed & taken butterfly shots Mole !
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:47 AM   #6
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Leaves are ripening in the cove forests too. Still mostly green, but we saw a few hints of the approaching colorful season....
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:48 AM   #7
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And some reminders that much of this is old farmland...
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:50 AM   #8
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Our trail brought us up to the Appalachian Trail at Yellow Mountain Gap. Here an old barn has been converted into a fine trail shelter. Lots of through-hikers enjoy these spacious accomodations (a bit breezy in the wintertime though!)
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:52 AM   #9
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Much of the AT here passes through open mountain balds. These high meadows were rich in late-season bloom (asters & goldenrods), as well as Monarch caterpillars.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 6:54 AM   #10
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We hiked on up from the gap to Little Hump Mountain, accompanied by many fine views.
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