|Kiely and I just off the parkway near the MST with Looking Glass Rock behind us|
Thank you to the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail for putting on such a wonderful event for hikers and those interested in hiking/supporting the trail. It was awesome to meet fellow hikers Scot, Danny, Sharon, Heidi, and William and hear your stories. Good to know there is so much enthusiasm and love for the trail...and to all those interested in the plants of the trail, know that my book is in the works! Any help in regards to potential publishers and marketing would be greatly appreciated.
Above all, how sweet it was to walk the trails and see tell-tale signs of spring popping up from the mica-speckled red clay and drying leaf litter. Sweet as it was, mid-February is a bit early for some of these appearances. Friends expressed concern at what would happen with a cold snap that will inevitably come in the mountains before true spring arrives. But, the good news is that many of these plants are adapted to the cold weather and are nearly indestructible with their trailing interconnected root systems. I think these hardy greenies will do just fine.
|Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum)|
|Bird's Eye Speedwell (Veronica persica)|
|Wild Onion (Allium spp.)|
Among these edibles, I also found baby Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Chickweed (Stellaria spp.), and Common Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla).
|Putty Root (Aplectrum hyemale)|
|A view from the River Trail|
Thank you Asheville. A week in the sun with clear blue skies, 60 degree temps, magnificent mountains and love all around did me good. And I'll have you know, Milford, I bottled up some of that bright southern sun and brought it back with me. So although it's presently snowing and gray and cold, I'm right now popping the cork and spreadin' it 'round, let it shine!