Roads Less Traveled: Spring marches on

The high country of Western North Carolina is still solidly in the throes of spring wildflower season. The calendar may say June 3, but temperatures dipped into the 30s last week, and afternoon highs are still only reaching the low/mid-70s at the most.

As the weather warms up, the exposed areas continue to see more flowers blooming.

The Catawba Rhododendrons are starting to hit the highest peaks, and the big blooms around Craggy Gardens and Roan Mountain will be going soon.

These brilliant pink and purple flowers are one of my favorites, and I’ve seen plenty this season so far. The recent cold snap had some effects on the blooms, but there have still been plenty to see.

These warmer days also mean afternoon thunderstorms, making it a great time to catch sun rays breaking through the clouds.

Next up on our high-elevation flower list is mountain laurels which have really taken off this week.

I captured probably my favorite image of the season so far this past Friday of some just starting to bloom out.

If you are looking for the best time to pay a visit to the nearby high peaks of western North Carolina, now is definitely the time.

Have a great week! I’ll see you on the trail…

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