Carolina Wild Photo (the blog)

Seeking Color and Fun in the Blue Ridge Mountains

by on Oct.06, 2017, under Locations, Rants, Raves & Ramblings

Occasional areas of color continue to be spotty We’ve made two more trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains since the last post hoping to find more Fall color, but it was as yet a bit too early, even at the highest elevations. The photo at right is one of the best representations of color from these two most recent trips, in the 3rd and 4th weeks of September. The near ridge shows a good bit of color, while the more distant ridges had little or none. I’m not sure how this works. Perhaps it’s merely elevation differences, though there is no way to tell how the ridge elevations differ in this view.
The Linn Cove Viaduct had a spattering of color This left image of Linn Cove Viaduct shows a bit of color, but nothing like we had hoped to see. We even went up to Blowing Rock and Boone, but there wasn’t any color there to speak of either. It was simply too early in the season. Checking out Fall color predictions seems to indicate the upcoming week will be better. However, the weather forecasts are predicting rain for much of the week. The moisture will only make the air hazier, which will not make getting photos any easier.

A sunset from a parkway overlook With the leaves not cooperating very well, I turned to the sky, hoping for an opportunity to get some color in a sunset. There, at least, I had a bit of luck. But on any one day you get one chance at it, and the sky changes quickly. You may have only seconds to catch the sun at the right moment as it drops behind a mountain ridge. Once it’s below the ridge, it’s gone, much like an eclipse.

Colorful sunset clouds from a parkway overlook But with the help of some clouds in just the right spot you might get an intense reflected glow even after the sun is below the horizon. The image at left captures just such a moment, appearing as if the ridge top is on fire. This too may last only a few seconds before it’s gone. Soon the yellow, red and orange light on the clouds fades to dullness, and the clouds blend with the distant mountain ridges.

Driving my Camaro along the Tail of the Dragon, with GoPro mounted on the windshield Though I didn’t find a lot of Fall color on these trips, I did make good on my plan to enjoy the thrills of driving my new Camaro on some windy mountain roads. First, I made three runs along the famous “Tail of the Dragon”, Hwy. 129 between Tennessee and North Carolina, with my GoPro sport video camera mounted to the windshield. This 11-mile stretch of road has 318 curves crammed into it, making it a favorite driving spot for motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts. Then I tried the “Moonshiner 28” run, also making a video with the GoPro. Then the next week we drove up north of Asheville, making a run on the “Devil’s Whip” Hwy. 80, then up the Parkway to Little Switzerland to run the wildly crooked Hwy. 226A, called the “Diamondback”. Finally I took the Camaro along some other back mountain roads, snaking over into Tennessee before winding my way back into North Carolina, all the while recording video of choice sections of the drive with the GoPro mounted to the windshield.
My Camaro posing on a parkway overlook I couldn’t resist taking a couple of photos of my beautiful blue Camaro while on the Parkway, parked at an overlook in the late afternoon shadow of a high ridge. I suppose it might qualify as “wildlife photography”, if you consider the license plate, which says “WILDBIRD”. Surely that counts…. doesn’t it?

P.S. – Oh, by the way, I did bring back a T-shirt from Tail of the Dragon :)


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