The Southern Forest

Cooling Weather

Now that we have passed the autumn equinox, the nights are longer than the days, and moreso with each passing day.  I’m missing the 16 hour days we saw in Maine just a couple months ago.

The temps are getting cooler, but not so much to have a dramatic effect on the color of the leaves. There are changes, however. For example, the oaks and hickories are dropping their nuts. They collect in the trail and become a hazard –  like walking on marbles.

The tallest trees in these Tennessee/NC forests are tulip poplar and white Pines. We also see various oaks, maples and birches, and a few cherry and walnut (my favorites). The understory is dominated by rhododendron; it boggles my mind how prevalent they are.

Day 129 – Cherry Gap shelter to Nolichucky River (17 miles) 

Day 130 – Nolichucky River to Spivey Gap (11 miles) 

Day 131 – Spivey Gap to Sam’s Gap (13 miles) 

Day 132 – Sam’s Gap to Jerry Cabin shelter (18 miles) 

Along The Trail

A few things I’ve recently seen –

Do you see an old troll trapped in this burl?

What are these nuts? I included an acorn to illustrate the size.

I spotted this ring-neck snake.  He was very quick, but smaller than an earthworm.

And a tough looking spider.

These are the tombstones of two union soldiers killed while visiting relatives during the Civil War.

Clouds And Valleys

I never get tired of a great view from the top of a mountain. Sometimes you catch the low morning clouds hanging in the valleys before the sun burns it off.

And sometimes you’re in the cloud just as the sun is burning it off.

Just a Couple More

When I was up north, constant rain prevented me from having views from many of the mountains.  Not so down south; the weather has been great!

Thanks for listening.

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Comments 1

  • Aric : Oct 5th

    The green nuts are “oil nuts”. S.B. Buckley, a botanist who roamed the Blue Ridge during the 19th century, who wrote that the fruit is “so oily that it will burn like a candle if a wick be drawn through it.”


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