Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Happy Trails To You

The world is full of highways and byways, but getting off onto a narrow slightly worn foot trail is something that restores the soul in more ways than one can absorb with each silent footfall.  The trails in the mountains of West Virginia are like small quick-witted children opening their arms to welcome hikers, and then giggling and quickly hiding behind turns and ridges to keep you guessing as to where they will finally end.  They lead you through byways, fern glens, muddy paths and even into wet marshland that looks like lime green moss where you will sink a half foot into mountain cool rain water to keep you alert!  You move from deep green tents of trees into open meadows where the sun blinds your eyes and the bird song is orchestral to your ears.  (Click on photos for larger views.)




The deer that pause at the edge of the woods look up with curiosity at your struggle but pause only shortly before moving on their way.  Sometimes if you are on the hillside you can spot a burnished red fox trotting across a glen far below in pursuit of some rodent that was flushed by the recent rain.  Other times you may see a small garter snake exploring his newly discovered world.




If you arrive in early June and you are willing to climb to the smooth top of a small mountain you can see the wild azaleas blooming like pink gowned fairy princesses mingling in sweet conversation across the open mountain top.  These are not the azaleas of front yards in the southern US.  These are the azaleas that hold their own against harsh winter winds and bitter icy storms to burst forth with the spring weather claiming their place for just a short time without the care of man.  Their color is magnificently matched by their fragrance.  And some of them even have odd bits of fruit attractive galls at the base of flowers.  The party does not last long, so you must time your trip carefully.


13 comments:

Brian Miller said...

nice..those trails make me just want to follow them...smiles...saw a snake the other day too...our rabbit population must be exploding because i saw so many babies yesterday....

Snaggle Tooth said...

So beautiful there! Like the winding trails, n Azaelas.

Granny Annie said...

You must be a faster draw with that camera than most gunslingers. How you caught that neat photo of the snake is beyond me. You are always at the ready aren't you?

messymimi said...

You have an amazing way with words, especially in your descriptions. Those flowers are beautiful, and are blooming long after our azaleas here, but they must be wild cousins, as they look similar and have an equally short season.

ellen abbott said...

I have had azaleas in my various yards nearly every year of my life and never have I seen a flower go to seed! I don't know how I ended up in this agricultural community. Well, that's not exactly true, I do know, but my spirit is more suited to woods and I miss them.

barbara cecelia said...

Nature trails can bring us so much to learn about and to just enjoy -- barbara

Celia said...

You really put my feet on this trail with your words and your pictures. The azaleas are so beautiful!

Kerry said...

How beautiful, Tabor. West Virginia has some gorgeous country, doesn't it?

Pauline said...

Wanted to be right there walking with you. And the flowers in the previous post! Loved the word capture of the rabbit/hawk drama, too.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Beautiful
and you took an image of "my snake?)
You named it
and you are so right...

Linda Reeder said...

Oh, so beautiful! Thank you for the photos. How far did you hike in to the cabins?

Bob Bushell said...

Great journey around there, fantastic there, the scenery and the snake.

Mage said...

Just stunnning stuff. And how did you create the roses in your last entry, please?