If that saying is true, then one of the happiest places on earth to be in the spring
and summer is along the Appalachian Trail when the fields and woods are full of
I was privileged to enjoy a remarkable show of flowers from Georgia to Maine last
summer, and I'd like to share with you some of the photos I took of "fields of
flowers"- as well as swamps, hillsides, and woods full of beautiful blossoms.
I'll do my best to identify the types of flowers in these photos. I'm consulting my copy of Leonard Adkins' book,
the Appalachian Trail, but not all of the flowers I photographed along the
Trail are in that book or other gardening books I have.
I've also spent plenty of time on the internet hunting for some of these to
no avail, so if you see a flower I haven't identified - or it's incorrect -
please write and let me know the proper name. Thanks!
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the flower show. This is the first of two
parts to this photo essay.
WILDFLOWERS IN GEORGIA - APRIL 30 TO MAY 3, 2005
There are several areas along the AT in north Georgia with large masses of
May apples but I don't think they were blooming yet when I passed through.
The flowers "hide" under the large umbrella-shaped leaves, so you pretty much
have to stop, lift up a leaf, and look for them. I finally learned to do that in
The only other large masses of flowers I saw this early in Georgia were
little bluets and spring beauties. I think the ones in this photo from
Day 4 on Powell Mountain are spring
WILDFLOWERS IN NORTH CAROLINA AND TENNESSEE -
I also saw several hillsides covered in spring beauties and
bluets in North Carolina, too. This close-up of bluets is from
soon after crossing into the state from Georgia:
same day I also saw my first hillsides full of
delicate-looking trout lilies:
I probably saw more wildflowers on
17 than any other day on the Appalachian Trail.
between Davenport Gap (at the north end of the Smokies) and Max Patch
was just gorgeous in mid-May last year. Entire hillsides were covered in white
and pink trilliums (next two photos), blue crested dwarf iris
(third photo), and many other types of flowers. I felt like I was in the Garden
of Eden that day.
I enjoyed these yellow daisy-like flowers at the top of Bluff
Day 18 a little south of Hot Springs, NC:
Another spectacular spring floral show was below 2,500 feet on
10 (May 9, 2005) as I descended the last mountain from the south to
the Nantahala River. If you read that day's journal you'll see the variety of
flowers Lynn DiFiore and I were able to identify.
WILDFLOWERS IN VIRGINIA - JUNE, 2005
Pretty purple phlox-like flowers (and lower-growing white and yellow flowers)
near a creek on
Day 34 just north and west of I-81:
Yellow irises and the same type of purple flowers
blooming along the North Fork of the Holston River near Tilson's Mill the
A mix of wildflowers on Peters Mountain north of Pearisburg,
overlooking mountain ridges to the west (Day
Indian paintbrush and some purple flowers from
50 on the balds around Cold Mountain:
Eight- to ten-foot tall cow parsnips (a relative of Queen
Anne's lace) and a close-up of the large, flat flower clusters, from
Red columbines mixed in with cow parsnips, same day:
Continuing northbound in next essay . . .