The 'red trail' walk the last week of May in the Mid-Atlantic is one my rewards for weeding all the flower beds. The hillsides are filled with blooming mountain laurel. The trail goes over and around ancient sand dunes and is not near any mountains. Some walkers head straight for the beach to look for fossils and sharks' teeth. I linger and slowly drink in the beauty of all the blooming mountain laurels. In sunny places they dot the entire hillside with what appear to be thousands of fairy hats or skirts. (Click on photos for more detail)
Other laurel plants tucked further in the deep shade of the woods look like pale pink popcorn balls stuck on the ends of branches.
Before the blossoms open they are round fan-folded darts ready to launch on some magical journey. The symmetry of ten points is fascinating. They could be space pods or perhaps some oddly crystallized sugar candy.
Once the blossoms open, most are a pale off white, but sometimes when you round the corner of the trail you can discover a set of deep pink blossoms blushing as if embarrassed by their beauty.
Like little fairy skirts set out for the May Ball they appear only briefly in the spring and then they are gone. If you miss them, you miss them!