Living on top of Mt. Leconte offers many different opportunities to explore the mountain. One thing Chris and I have noticed in our explorations is the ever changing forest floor. The snow and wind cause all kinds of trees to come crashing down. The more blow downs there are, the more sun light comes through. This changes the forest floor in so many ways. There are views that were not there before, seedlings that start sprouting up, and more moss and ferns where they were not before.
It is nice to see where there are so many dead trees springs new life. Yesterday was good day for exploring. The rain held off and offered a nice 68 degree day. We are still soaking up the sun. Blue skies up top this morning. We have to take while we can get it. Summer brings in the usual afternoon showers.
I love this time of year on the mountain. The dark-eyed juncos are building their nests and laying their eggs. Chris and I always stop and try and find the nest when we flush a junco out. For those of you who are wondering what I am talking about, when you are walking down a trail and you have a bird fly up and out of the embankment, that is called flushing it out. Usually, if it is a junco, there is a nest close by. This time of year you see a lot of them. We like to watch them and see when the chicks hatch. I will keep you posted on this nest.
Here is a little more information on what the nests look like. This excerpt is from Wikipedia:
"They usually nest in a cup-shaped depression on the ground, well hidden by vegetation or other material, although nests are sometimes found in the lower branches of a shrub or tree. The nests have an outer diameter of about 10 cm and are lined with fine grasses and hair. Normally two clutches of 4 eggs are laid during the breeding season. The slightly glossy eggs are grayish or pale bluish-white and heavily spotted (sometimes splotched) with various shades of brown, purple or gray. The spotting is concentrated at the large end of the egg. The eggs are incubated by the female for 12 to 13 days. Young leave nest between 11 and 14 days after hatching."
The weather has been amazing. We hit 73 degrees yesterday. It is starting out to be another repeat of yesterday.
"There is nothing more musical than a sunset. He who feels what he sees will find no more beautiful example of development in all that book which, alas, musicians read but too little - the book of Nature" -Claude Debussy
After an amazing day of sunshine, the guests were treated to a spectacular show of color. The mountain was full of hikers enjoying the amazing day. It is looking like a repeat of yesterday. It will be another fine day to get out for a walk in the woods.
I finally accomplished something I have been saying I was going to do for the past nine seasons. I kept telling myself to get up and go out on the back porch and practice some yoga while the sun was rising. Today was the day. I can't believe I have been missing that for nine seasons. I think it might have to be part of my morning ritual. Yoga, coffee, and blog sounds good to me.
I know we have had the discussion before about trail running. My belief is to each his own. As for those of us that live on the trails, sometimes you just have to do something that pushes yourself. It is fun for me to see what my body will do. Anyway, I am sure most of you remember the amazing run by our own Ranger David Worth. He did it again. This time he broke the record for running from Fontana Dam to Davenport Gap. He ran the entire length of the AT through the park, 72 miles, in 14hrs 50min and 22 seconds. Here is the link to his blog entry about his run.
Today is going to be amazing. If it gets to hot below, come on up and join us. Yesterdays high was 55. The clouds and rain moved out and the sun is shining. I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend.
The storms held off until dinner time. Plenty of time to get a run in. Yesterdays high was 63 degrees and mostly sunny. It looks as though the weather is going to be beautiful this weekend. Come on up and have lunch with us.
It feels good to be back on the mountain. Blue skies and warm sun. Life is good. The high yesterday was a nice 68 degrees. Perfect for lounging in a hammock and watching the clouds roll by. There have been bear sightings at the lower end of Alum Cave. It sounds as though our little four legged friends are out and about. I know they are around my house in Gatlinburg. I was sitting on the couch Tuesday morning and saw a dark figure slowly walking by my glass doors. I looked out and saw a mama bear and her three babies passing through my yard. It was fun to watch them with a big piece of glass between us.
Chris and I went down for days off to celebrate a wonderful marriage. For those of you who have been hiking to LeConte for decades, you will remember Tim and Lisa's little girl and her older brother playing in the sand box. Grace was raised up here during the late 80's. She got married this weekend. It was a fabulous occasion. We are so happy for Grace and Mike. The two were also crew members in 2008.
We had an awesome hike back up the mountain. The weather was perfect. The rhododendron is starting to bloom around Inspiration Point. We reached the top and the sand myrtle is starting to bloom. Flowers are every where on LeConte. It is time to hike up and check them out.
Most people dread the horrible Mondays back to work; however, up here it's hard to dread it when everyday seems like it could be a weekend or any other day of the week. The best way to distinguish what day it is on the mountain is whether the llamas are coming or not. That helps keep me on track, at least! We had a threat of storms yesterday but it turned out to be another wonderful day. It got up to 69 with mostly sunny skies and only dropped down to 50 overnight. We heard a few rumbles of thunder this morning but no rain. Hopefully, it will miss us today. Chris and Allyson will be returning to the mountain today after some, hopefully, restful time down. It has been a pleasure showing you some of the mountain happenings over the last week and I'll see you again next month. I can't believe May is almost over! Summer really is here, finally!
Someone mentioned that I had posted a lot of pictures of food recently. Our cooks really try to pamper us Typically, Sunday nights the cook gets a break from preparing the crew's dinner, but Laurie stepped up to prepare Walt's birthday meal. He requested homemade pizza. And Laurie did nothing to disappoint! It was a wonderful meal! Happy Birthday Walt!
Sunday was an amazing conclusion to the weekend. It was so sunny and warm I accidentially got sunburned. It can happen very easily on this mountain. You should remember to wear sunscreen when playing outdoors in such intense sun! Yesterday was probably one of the warmest days so far reaching 71. We were not much cooler than the valley this morning at 5 a.m. with 53 degrees. If the sun manages to come out today I think it could be another warm afternoon. After the storm late yesterday afternoon there were still a few clouds hanging around making for an interesting sunset.
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!