As I write this, we are receiving our first rain shower of the day. Otherwise, it had been a warm, sunny, and beautiful mountain top up to this point. Anticipating that it would rain and rumble at some time this afternoon, it was nice to take care of all the llama necessities in dry conditions. Thanks again Boys! Tuesday's high temperature was 70 degrees, and our overnight low hit a mild 51. It was also our second straight day without precipitation. That streak is now broken, and we're currently in the mid 60's.
Now for a Mt. LeConte wildflower update! The Purple Monkshood have really started to come on strong just within the last couple days. The neat thing about this particular plant is that it will bloom for several weeks before finally going to seed, so that means plenty of time for folks to see them up close. They grow quite well around the lodge Dining Hall, and you might see the patch that exists a couple miles out on The Boulevard.
The plants that are the most populous across lodge grounds are the Yellow Coneflower and White Snakeroot, the former typically reaching peak bloom first. Both are just now starting to open up and should really hit their stride in the next week or two. Once they do, it'll be a feast for the eyes well into August. The Bee Balm have some impressive stands scattered around camp, and may help draw in the occasional hummingbird, so watch closely. Several clumps of Mountain Honeysuckle are blooming around various cabins. The Rugel's Ragwort that lines several of the mountain's approach trails before entering camp are also about to pop. Not the world's most attractive flower, but unique and special nonetheless. The Filmy Angelica, Pink Turtleheads, and Clingmans Hedge Nettle still have some growing time ahead of them before joining the parade. As previously mentioned, the local deer population devoured the handful of American Turk's Cap Lilies in camp before they could mature, but there are plenty of those elsewhere down the mountain. We'll see if we can't get some shots of these most impressive summer Smokies perennials in the coming days.
So if you're a botany enthusiast, the next month is a great time for you to visit Tennessee's famous mountain. And if it isn't your thing, come up and see us anyways, and get some relief from the heat and humidity of the flat lands. Thanks for stopping by the site and have a great rest of the day!
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