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Old Apr 6, 2011, 9:58 PM   #1
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Default Jones Falls

Took a quick jaunt up the AT to Jones Falls the other day. Have found some rare plants, and new county records here in previous spring seasons. But it was a bit early for most flowering plants this time. It's amazing what a difference elevation can make for the blooming season.

We did find plenty of Trailing Arbutus in bloom. It's a small plant, stays close to the ground, and so it's easy to miss. But when the sun hits the blooms, they distill a very rich, sweet & spicy aroma!
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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Serviceberry is another early season bloom up in the high country. It's called serviceberry because it blooms about the time when old dirt roads are getting dry enough for the circuit-riding Preachers to be able to travel to remote locations and begin services again! These delicate blooms only last a short time, but they sure do decorate the high country! Later they will become delicious small fruits - enjoyed by many people and many "critters."
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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We spotted an unusual fungus along the trail - it's called an Earthstar. You can see the star-like "collar" around the central puffball. All the star-arms will curl up in dry weather. This protects the spores, insuring they are spread when things get damper - better conditions for sprouting.
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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Of course, the main attraction of this hike is Jones Falls itself. The AT was actually rerouted several years ago, to insure that through-hikers would get to see this fine waterfall. Despite our VERY WET spring, Jones Falls was not excessively full. Forested Mt watersheds are good at holding water and slowing down flooding.

Here are a few views of the falls - any preferences?
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 10:13 PM   #5
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It was an easy in & out hike, less than 5 miles altogether. In fact, we got home well before dark, and in time to get a glimpse of one of the first Zebra Swallowtails to emerge this spring. (It's Tennessee's State Butterfly)

Hope you enjoyed the stroll, and that you will share your comments, critique & suggestions!
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 6:11 PM   #6
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That Zebra Swallowtail is beautiful.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 8:38 PM   #7
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I don't think i've ever seen a Zebra Swallowtail. In the summer we have millions of Yellow Swallowtails, but your state butterfly is stunning. Regarding the waterfalls, all three are excellent, but I think I like #2 the best. I love how the water flows down the top of the frame then flows toward the viewer at the bottom.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 9:41 AM   #8
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I agree with mtnman I like #2 of the waterfalls images. I like the way most of your waterfalls images seem a little on the dark side and saturated in colors, makes for interesting shots. Again very nice series Mole

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Old Apr 8, 2011, 9:42 PM   #9
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Stunning image of the butterfly. Nice color, contrast and detail!

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Old Apr 9, 2011, 12:38 AM   #10
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I like the shots of the Trailing Arbetus (never heard of them before) uch lovely little flowers ! Lovely butterfly - I do envy you your butterfly variety we never seem to get here !
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