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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:50 PM   #1
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Default Hampton Creek Cove

Will be leading a hike at Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area next weekend, so took some time this weekend to inspect the trail. Have posted plenty of photos from this Natural Area here before, so will just share a few quick snapshots.

This Natural Area protects the breeding habitat of a number of unusual bird species that depend on higher elevation meadows. Here's one of those meadows, showing the old homeplace and some Ironweed blooms. Many folks here in East Tennessee call this plant "farewell to summer," because it blooms as summer is fading to autumn.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:51 PM   #2
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Hampton Creek Cove's meadows are maintained by grazing livestock.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:52 PM   #3
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And the meadows are great butterfly habitats as well...
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:54 PM   #4
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The main trail through Hampton Creek Cove is the Overmountain Victory Trail, which connects the natural area to Cherokee National Forest and on up to Yellow Mt Gap. It's a great hike from there to Roan Mt or to Hump Mt as well. Could not take any photos up on the high country, because some big storms were moving in. But did get some shots of the forested slopes...
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:55 PM   #5
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And some interesting little clumps of mushrooms...
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:56 PM   #6
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Also noticed some berries with an unusual name. Can you see why they are called "Doll's Eyes?"
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:57 PM   #7
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Plenty of small creeks along the trail, lush with late-summer green...
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:58 PM   #8
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We noticed one large salamander that appeared to have an eye infection. These amphibians are so sensitive to changes in environmental conditions - hoping this is not a sign of some environmental problems in the area...
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 8:59 PM   #9
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Again, the gathering storms necessitated a very fast hike, with camera staying in the knapsack. But hope you enjoyed a few glimpses, and that they'll tempt you to come and see for yourself!

Thanks for any comments & critique!
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 9:07 AM   #10
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Very nice series Mole my favirate of the bunch is the little clumps of mushrooms and the first shot.

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