Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

More Wonder Headed North

Monday May 21, 2018                                                                              Most Recent Posts:
Lewis Mountain Campground                                                                    Celia Turns Two
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia                                                         Trillium Trail

Remember the amazing Trillium Trail hike I took when I walked south from the campground and found Trilliums by the thousands?  Well today before setting out on my hike I found them in our campsite.  Did they show up while we were gone or do we so often just not pay attention, close attention, to our surroundings.  There is beauty all around us.  Do you see them?

Today I walk back up to where the AT comes right by the campground and this time I head north.

I’m only a short distance down the trail when I spot the first Jack in the Pulpit.  After that, I see them everywhere..

Usually they have double leaves, but not this one.

The trail is lined with fields of ferns and more Jacks and a few trillium which,  just over these few days we’ve been away, seem to be fading. 

This jack, standing alone in a space left by the ferns, is unusual in its opening wide.  I’ve seen it before, but not often.  Maybe they all do that eventually but I don’t think so.


Golden Ragwort is along the trail as well.

Wood Betony here is yellow but later I see other colors.

Lots of wildflowers but the major excitement of the day is right next to the path at the foot of an oak tree.   What a wonderful surprise!

Four lovely yellow lady slippers.   Can’t you just see a fairy wearing such divine slippers?

Notice the red path pointing the way for the insect pollinators.

The lady’s slipper, also known as moccasin flower, is one of more than 30 orchid species recorded in the park.

I’m heading for Bearfence Mountain.  I’m not going to do the scramble today, it’s too late and there will be too many people for it to be much fun but I am going to the viewpoint.

Along the way I get some views to the west through the trees of what looks like more rain clouds headed our way.  I consider whether I should continue on but the clouds are fickle in the mountains so on I go.


The trail switches back and forth on the ridge and I get  sort of views to the East as well. 

The trail continues under some wild azalea bushes that are just coming into bloom.  It’s a lovely surprise to see them dotting the trail.

Pollinator at work.  Thank goodness!

The traditional marker says AT one way, Bearfence loop the other.  The AT often has the opportunity to cut off and see specific waterfalls or other interesting aspects of the park but most through hikers don’t have the time.  That’s the one drawback of hiking from Springer to Katadin in my mind, you have to push too hard.  I head off the white blaze and onto the blue.

Shortly I come to the viewpoint spur

One of the problems in managing the park is deciding whether to let nature have its way completely or to keep views open.  Once these trees fully leaf out the view will definitely be compromised.

BUT there is this rock jutting out below the trees that, if you are able, you can scramble down to for a better view.    Notice the azalea.  They are so subtle.

Better view!   From the tip of the overlook rock

Zoomed in over the trees

Count the ridges.

Here I count six including the one I’m standing on.

Looks like those dark clouds have formed a ridge lowering down.  Rain is on the way. Time to go back.

As I turn around,  I see now how lovely the little spur I’ve come down is

Hiking back I spy a Mourning Cloak Butterfly  on a rock in my path  His wing edges show a rough life.  He stays for a long time just opening and closing his wings.  I wonder if he’s tired.  I stay so as not to disturb him, waiting for him to move on.  But when I hear the rumble of thunder I have to walk on.


Wood Betony in crimson and yellow this time.

And then I see more Yellow Lady Slipper.  Twice as lucky.

Look how close to the trail they are right by the tree on the right.  Could anyone miss them?


Looks like the red dotted path worked.  There is some sort of insect in there who can’t quite figure out how to get out while I watch.

Still in there but out of view

In view as I hike on.

What a lovely natural garden of flowers.

The lovely little garden Includes the sweet bellwort.  So nice that unlike birds, flowers don’t flit around and make taking their picture so difficult.

More wild azalea along the trail.  The mountains are so lovely in the spring.

I’ve seen many bloodroot along the way.

I’ve missed the flower.  This looks like the seed pod next to the stem.

I may be seeing the last of the trillium today.

Beautiful even as they fade.

Another wonderful Appalachian Trail hike right outside my door at Lewis Mountain.  Round trip 5.81 miles and  12715 steps.  Love my pedometer.  Love this trail!!


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!! Just incredible the abundance and diversity of flowers/plants!

  2. Loved the flowers. One thing about the warmer more humid east, you do have amazing wildflowers and gorgeous hardwood forests. Still, I did find a western fairyslipper on my last hike and posted a photo of it on the blog. Our trilliums were completely finished, but I did see tons of leaves. If we had been in the mountains just a bit sooner, they would have been a carpet on the forest floor. You keep reminding me to get a battery for my fitbit. :)

  3. Spectacular views and lovely flowers! We get jack in the pulpit here, as well as white and red trilliums. I featured one of the last the other day.

  4. Your AT hike looks so green, lush, and colorful with all the flowers. We need to get back east one of these years!

  5. Beautiful pics of your fantastic hike. Congrats on the distance.

  6. Beautiful hike...love seeing the yellow Lady Slippers:o)) The spring wildflowers are about done here. However, we are seeing the first of the Rhododendron blooms!!

  7. Wonderful wildflowers, views and butterflies! We just got back from a family trip to Zion, Bryce, Antelope, and north rim of the Grand Canyon. Whole different part of the country. Spectacular!

  8. I'm surprised you were able to see that bug in the Lady Slipper's mouth. I thought ladies were supposed to chew with their mouths closed... :cD

  9. I love how delicate and "wispy" all the flowers are under the sturdy forest canopy. The bellwort is still my favorite, but those lady slippers are awesome. What a design!! The spur to the lookout is beautiful - maybe even more so looking back to the trail. Fun to see the very blue ridges.

  10. Great hike, I have to admit when I am hiking I am more focused on the wildlife in the area, but I am becoming more aware of the plant life as time goes by:)

  11. Beautiful, beautiful wildflowers. I've yet to see Jack-in-the-Pulpit, but I'm looking forward to it! And that sweet yellow lady's slipper—I've never seen that, either (although I have seen the pink variety in Oregon). Are the wild azaleas fragrant? I'm assuming that they are, since the wild varieties in Oregon have an intoxicating scent. Wildflowers plus gorgeous views—what a wonderful hike!

  12. The vegetation in the NE is just amazing. I miss all those beautiful wild flowers. Took them all for granted living in MD.

  13. Beautiful flowers on your hike. We have lovely flowered landscaping in this park, but it's getting dry on the hills around here already.

  14. You were there at just the right time and space. Jack in the Pulpit is a flower from Illinois youth in the forests. They seem to compliment the Lady Slippers.

  15. Your hikes on the AT and wildflower pictures bring back memories of doing this with my folks. Love hiking in the east, can't wait to get some in next summer.

  16. Wow, I was there just briefly, but you really have great eyes and do a great job siting, photographing & identifying the natural beauty! So glad you do!!

  17. I distincly remembered our times when we were at the Shenandoah Mountains and I am glad you are identifying these wildfloweres. And your flower pics and ridges photos just reminded us it was beautiful there as it is where we are in Idaho minus humidity :)

  18. Beautiful trail, flowers and butterfly. I like that first picture of Dad. It's a good one.


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