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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:11 PM   #1
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Default Plenty of Autumn Trails

Have been down quite a few fine East Tennessee autumn trails in the past week, and had several opportunities to record this great season in some snapshots. Hope I wiil not bore you with too many photos!, but here are a few samples and scenes of early autumn in our region.

We've seen some amazing foggy sunrises this past week with the approach of cooler, damper weather. Here are a few...
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:15 PM   #2
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Foggy mornings are great for spotting spiderwebs! Harriet/Mtngal had mentioned that all she could find were those low "cobwebby" webs made by Funnel Web Spiders, and that they were not very good photo subjects. So I tried to find some of the same kind, and see how they look in the autumn fog.

Maybe not as interesting as the orb webs, but some fascinating reflections...
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:18 PM   #3
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Our woodlands continue to host a richness of mushrooms - fed by autumn decay and autumn damp.
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:21 PM   #4
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Bloom season is about over in the hills of East Tennessee. But the Gentians are only now flowering, and varied Asters species are at a peak.
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:25 PM   #5
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Of course, the pollen-eaters and nectar eaters are glad for the remaining blooms.

Here are an Ailanthus Moth and a Honeybee on Goldenrod, and a Great Spangled Fritillary on Thistle.
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:29 PM   #6
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And here's a Monarch who paused on its way to Mexico to enjoy some Aster nectar, and a Common Buckeye resting nearby...
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:33 PM   #7
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One more pollen eater - a Locust Long-horned Beetle. These are bee mimics - they even make some buzzing noises when caught! Goldenrod seems to be their primary food as adults, although they are rather destructive of Locust trees when they are larvae.
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:37 PM   #8
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Trees in the lower country are still mostly green (will post some autumn foliage shots from the high country in a separate thread later). Here are a few "tree portraits" from several low-country trails recently.

Old Beech trees are full of character, and also (unfortunately for their health) usually full of carvings...
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:40 PM   #9
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And the old White Oaks are full of wildlife these days (saw five Black Bears in the Oaks & Hickories this morning!). This one has a smaller "critter" (common green darner).
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Old Oct 7, 2011, 2:42 PM   #10
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Ripening continues across the East Tennessee landscapes, and I am blessed to get to be out in them!
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