A community of yellow trilliums
I love the flowers and foliage of the Smoky Mountains, especially in spring. On our trip this April, however, I had to temper my desire to see and photograph the famous spring blooms in the Smokies.
I had a choice. I could manage my expectations and adapt to the realities of my current post-stroke abilities or I could drive myself and husband Walter bloomin’ crazy.
I chose the road less traveled, at least less traveled by me. I chose to be reasonable. Make that fairly reasonable. I had already had a little practice going down that road during a previous day’s stop in Dahlonega, GA. I posted about that experience here, but evidently I need a lot more practice to establish new attitudes.
On a 2010 Easter-week trip to the Smokies, I was in a state of euphoria over all the different spring wildflowers that I had never seen up-close-and-personal before. I enjoyed them all over again when I posted about those flower species here.
On our recent 2012 trip, time and terrain eliminated our taking the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail at Chimney’s picnic area, the Porter’s Creek Trail on the way from Gatlinburg to Cosby and other spring wildflower hotspots.
But there were consolations. Loads of trilliums were ready to bloom. I ventured on a solo walk up a gravel path to take photos of a patch of yellow trilliums at Chimneys picnic area. When I arrived at my targeted destination, I realized I might take a Jack-and-Jill tumble down the hill I had just walked up if I tried to bend down low enough to get the close ups I wanted.
Instead, camera clutched in right hand, I wrapped myself around a small tree immediately uphill from the plants and snapped. I am now literally a bona fide tree hugger.
Trilliums catch sun’s late rays
I never did see any of those yellow trilliums fully opened, in person or on any Web sites other than commercial sites advertising plants for sale. But they still provided a wildflower rush. The curled up yellow looked like a candle flame and I loved the geometry and coloring of the mottled leaf trios.
Mottled leaves grace yellow trilliums.
We saw abundant pink trilliums on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a one-way drive that is just outside of Gatlinburg and is part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The delicate pink barely showed up on the photo that I enlisted husband Walter to snap with my camera. Unlike their yellow cousins, the pink trillium’s leaves were a uniform spring green, just as striking as the yellow’s mottled leaves.
There were other patches of intriguing blossoms but rarely space to pull over for a closer look. We did see something else that delighted us, a young bear asleep high above the forest floor in the fork of a tree. He was too far away for our available camera lenses, but Walter did include our bear sighting in his post about the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail here.