What an amazing day to hike back to work. Yesterday's skies were bright blue. Alum Cave trail was hustling and bustling. Who could blame everyone for wanting to get out in the park on such a fine day? The catawba rhododendron around Inspiration point has passed its peak. I did notice the mountain laurel was starting to bloom. If you want to see some rhododendron at its peak, keep hiking past the cave, about three quarters up the trail, it is putting on a show.
The birds are enjoying this amazing weather. I counted 5 Junco nests on my way down the trail last week. I found one chick that had hatched maybe an hour our so before, I found several nests with eggs, and we saw some chicks that were waiting on dinner. I love discovering the nests with new life. I found three more nests on the way back up. I passed several garter snakes in our travels. I got a picture of one we passed yesterday. I am not a big snake fan, so I did not pause to long to get it in great focus.
I believe summer is upon us. The flowers are blooming early, the synchronous fireflies are already peaking, and the temperatures are rising. I suspect our wildflowers will be about a month early on the mountain. I hope you all can get out and enjoy this great park.
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