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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:23 PM   #1
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Default Josiah Trail

Was back up at Holston Mt recently, checking on some rare plants and also on trail conditions. Enjoyed a fine little 7 or 8 mile loop that included climbing up (very steep) Flint Mill Trail and climbing down (almost as steep) Josiah Trail.

Not a lot of time for photography on this trip, but we had to stop and enjoy the early morning light and low clouds from Flint Rock.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:25 PM   #2
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We've had an unusually wet summer here in East Tennessee (something like 15 or 16 inches ahead on rainfall for the year already!), which makes for excellent mushroom conditions. Here are just a few of the amazing diversity of mushrooms - mostly along the Josiah Trail.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:27 PM   #3
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Wet conditions are also great for many amphibians. This fat old American Toad almost became a snack - one of my dogs dug it out from under a log while I wasn't watching! Fortunately (both for toad and for dog) the toad was rescued unharmed, and even consented to a few poses.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:29 PM   #4
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Found several thriving specimens of Carolina Lily as well as Smaller False Hellebore (both flowers and fruit). These rather rare plants are each a good sign of a healthy forest habitat.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:33 PM   #5
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And we finally found some good views of the caterpillar of my favorite butterflies. We often see Pipevine Swallowtail adults up in the mountains, but usually miss the larvae. This very cooperative Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar was resting on a Dutchman's Pipevine stem. Perhaps the bizarre color and pattern are a warning that, like its food plant the pipevine, these caterpillar taste terrible.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:34 PM   #6
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Wish there had been more time to pause and enjoy the varied terrain, but hope you'll enjoy these few samples. Thanks as always for any comments, critique and suggestions.
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Old Sep 4, 2013, 4:26 PM   #7
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Nice series Mole, I like the layers of colors on the first 2 shots

Hans
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Old Sep 4, 2013, 8:24 PM   #8
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Hans - Thanks for taking time to comment. Glad you enjoyed the view from Flint Rock!

PS - that just a few steps away from the copperheads' favorite sunning spot, but it was too early and cool for them to be out yet that morning...
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Old Sep 5, 2013, 8:45 PM   #9
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A very nice set of photos, documenting what was surely a very pleasant hike. Love the toad. several years ago my dog captured a toad while we were rambling through the woods. Apparently the toad secreted some nasty substance since the dog instantly dropped the toad, retched, and started foaming at the mouth. He continued to gag and foam at the mouth for several hours!
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Old Sep 6, 2013, 8:58 PM   #10
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You have such interesting things to photograph. I can't decide which is my favorite. Your mushrooms amaze me. We have them all over the yard right now. But, they are the boring same old ones as always.

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