A few weeks ago when we were in the mountains, we drove across the Cherohala Skyway from North Carolina to Tennessee. We did this a few years ago, and I wrote about it Here. This year, I was just bowled over by all the wildflowers we saw growing along both sides of the road almost the entire length of the skyway. It was amazing! I've never seen such a profusion of wildflowers -- it's like they were on steroids.
I was able to identify 11 different varieties of wildflowers this year (I had to look up some of them online); that's the most I've ever seen in one area. These flowers were so pretty, I felt like most gardeners would be pleased to have them in their own gardens. Yet they were just growing wild with no one tending them but Mother Nature. Have a look and see what you think...
A Black Swallowtail butterfly lighting on the Phlox.
I used to have Bee Balm in my garden in Greensboro many years ago, and my mom has some in her yard now, but I've never seen it growing wild before. There were big patches of it growing that day, and it made quite a show.
This has to be one of my all-time favorite wildflowers, and it has been blooming prolifically this summer. I can remember as a child finding them growing in meadows, but my mom told me not to bring them in the house because they had chiggers in them. :) In the South, Queen Anne's Lace is sometimes referred to as "Chigger Weed." It's hard for me to think of such a beautiful flower as a weed; it looks so pretty in a bouquet with other flowers.
Mr. Forest Manor captured this gorgeous macro shot with his camera. I don't think I've ever seen this flower before.
Wild raspberries -- Yum.
At first glance, I thought this was more Queen Anne's Lace; it looks similar, but on closer inspection, it's obvious that it's not Queen Anne's Lace.
This flower is also known as Pale Touch-Me-Not. I took these pictures, and they're not as good as the ones Hal took. These were the sweetest little flowers -- so dainty looking.
This is another flower that I don't remember seeing before. From a distance they look solid white, but in this macro image, you can see the lavender around the edge of the blossoms.
A big cluster of Wood Vetch.
We also saw lots of these amazing lilies this year, but we didn't get a chance to photograph them because they were always on the opposite side of the road from the rest of the flowers we were taking pictures of. These images are from our 2012 drive along the Cherohala.
Also this year, we saw a lot of Black-Eyed Susans and Purple Clover flowers, but we didn't get pictures of those either. I found the pictures below online.
These were especially pretty in large bunches.
I found two good sights online that were really helpful in identifying some of these wildflowers that I wasn't familiar with. The first one is PBase.com; you can find it Here. The second site I used is "Smoky Mountains Wildflowers," authored by William Britten, Here. Both of these sites had lots of helpful pictures.
I'm linking to the Mosaic Monday party, hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage -- hope you'll join us there this afternoon. A big "Thank You" to Mary, at Little Red House for hosting these past years -- we will miss you and wish you well! Thank you, Judith, for stepping up to host Mosaic Mondays now! :)
Thank you all for your visit and have a terrific weekend!