Enjoy the Colorful Photographic Impressions created by Vann Helms
With temps in the high 60’s, and super low humidity, one might think it was mid October instead of early July, along the eastern slopes of iconic Grandfather Mountain. Rough Ridge Trail leads from the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Linn Cove Viaduct, to a series of giant boulders and outcroppings near the 5,000 foot level of the Blue Ridge. The sky and the clarity of the view were just spectacular on this Sunday afternoon, and with cars parked a quarter mile along the Parkway from the trailhead, you would have thought that everyone in Blowing Rock and Boone was there to enjoy the rare conditions.
The Piedmont Plateau was very visible along the eastern horizon.
Linn Cove Viaduct was barely visible in the thick Summer forest near the summit of mile high Grandfather. (Upper center)
Grandfather was impressive behind this brave couple…
Yours truly found the perfect spot for a great sunbath… …and just couldn’t get enough of this incredible Blue Ridge afternoon.
On the hike back down the rocky trail, late Rhododendron caught the sun just right.
Just east of Lake Lure is Bill’s Mountain, named for the creek that flows around it’s northern slope. Not a tall mountain, it has the distinction of being the last mountain you see if you fly due south to the mountains of western Cuba. It is private, with the gated community of Vista at Bill’s Mountain being home to many glorious homes with amazing views of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge.
It is shown here on a foggy summer morning….
Farms and smaller gated communities lie between the mountain and Lake Lure.
Bill’s Creek Road follows an old Cherokee trading path over the mountain, where you’ll find the Craftsmen style entrance gate at the 1,200 foot level.
Near the base of the mountain, along Bill’s Creek, is the abandoned Lake Lure Vineyards.
One of many private homes you’ll find near the lake with a view toward the mountain.
June 21st brought another memorable sunset along the Blue Ridge. These images were captured from my deck.
If, by chance, you see an image on my blog that you simply must have for your home or office, just drop me a note at email@example.com and I’ll send you price and size details. They would be on blocked canvas using a much larger file than used on my blog for the best quality. Here are some samples that others have ordered in the past.
Installation at Larkin’s-on-the-Lake restaurant at Lake Lure.
From atop Hawksbill Mountain on Linville Gorge.
Large 3 foot by 4 foot canvas in a home setting.
Storm Alberto brought over a foot of rain to most of these mountains in just four days. Creeks and rivers overflowed, and mudslides occurred in many places. Otter Creek, just below my house, rose more than six feet in a matter of hours. I made this short video on Thursday to capture the rage that a normally tranquil stream can muster when angry.
Otter Creek Road after a flash flood passed through…
For the past two seasons, a late March freeze here in the valley has meant that very few Blackberries were being picked in late June. This year is very different. For the past two weeks, the vines have prospered, and nearly a foot of rain over the past five days has ensured that this year, there will be berries for cobblers and for freezing once again.
Blossoms cover entire meadows…
The Ragwort have found a safe place amongst the thorny vines…
Bearded Iris from long ago planted bulbs are appearing in the strangest places…
Wild Dwarf Azalea are in bloom all along Otter Creek…
The White Laurel is always the first to bloom…
And the Pink Laurel is opening right on time…
After temperatures in the high 80’s for the first time this season, late afternoon storms loomed on the western horizon over 3,100 foot Wolf Pen Mountain along the Rutherford and McDowell County line. Thunder was heard in the distance, and the sweet smell of newly cut hay lingered in the heavy air. Buttercups are covering many of the pastures just to the north.
Interstate 40 dives eastward down the mountain from the Eastern Continental Divide. There are no overlooks along the highway, but a quick stop when traffic is light can provide breathtaking views of the mountains where the Catawba River is born, just to the northwest of Old Fort, North Carolina. I went there just after sunrise to experience the textures of the ridges and the thick forests. The vastness of the valley is remarkable.
View toward the southeast….
View toward the South…
Back home again… looking northwest.
|Lee Ann Schlatter on October in July at Rough Ridge…|
|DONALD WILLIAMS on October in July at Rough Ridge…|
|Lee Ann Schlatter on Bill’s Mountain at Lake…|