This past week I took advantage of a lovely spring morning to walk to Bud Ogle Nature Trail before my day in the Gallery began. The Bud Ogle Farm is a popular tourist stop at the start of the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, one of the best Smoky Mountains drives. Most people explore Bud’s cabin and barn and get back in the car. But there is a great little nature trail that starts just off the back porch of the cabin! It’s a wonderful meander around a fairly level loop, crossing LeConte Creek several times.
On this morning the early light softened the dogwoods that were blooming around the Ogle place.
Not too far down the trail is the old Tub Mill. The sluice is still there, but not catching any water these days. This mill is one of 13 that worked along LeConte Creek at one time or another.
Today the most notable feature at the mill was the incredible stands of Foamflower in perfect bloom. It’s unusual to see so many of these wildflowers grouped together.
On down the nature trail there were equally impressive stands of Dwarf Crested Iris. See the dewdrops perched on the Iris leaves? Each one of those drops was reflecting the entire field of wildflowers! I’m going to head back here real soon with a long lens that can magnify those dewdrops!
Finally, one more find. Just off the trail is a big jumble of boulders. Looking over at them, it appeared that they were covered with moss. But when I detoured over for a close look, these massive boulders were in fact hosting huge communities of Wild Stonecrop! Wow!
If you’re in the Gatlinburg area, I’d be delighted if you’d stop in at the William Britten Gallery on Glades Rd in the Arts and Crafts Loop. My collection of Smoky Mountains photos just might have that Smokies memory you’ve been looking for!