Wayne and I had stopped at Pilot Mountain in 2012 on our previous attempt to make it to the North Carolina coast and taken a quick walk around the summit. I pretty much had the same thing in mind this morning, just a quick walk to stretch my legs before a long day in the car.
|Mountain Laurel - Kalmia latifolia|
The lady in the visitor center didn't know if anything was blooming and had no suggestions for a hike. When I got to the summit I discovered Mountain Laurel blooming all up and down the road, and even a few on the Jomeokee Trail as well. Kalmia latifolia is notable for its unusual method of dispensing its pollen. As the flower grows, the filaments of its stamens are bent and brought into tension. When an insect lands on the flower, the tension is released, catapulting the pollen forcefully onto the insect
A few rhododendron found their way onto the mountainside too, but the lichen were so profuse that it was hard to look anywhere without seeing them!
From the Jomeokee Trail I hopped onto the Ledge Springs Trail to enjoy the rocky path at the base of the cliffs of the pinnacle. The morning fog might have prevented views from the summit, but it added to my enjoyment of the woods.
I only walked about 1/2 mile and then just turned around and headed back to the parking lot. The trail was so beautiful that an hour had slipped away from me and I had over 300 miles of road to conquer that day! It was so much nicer to start the day with an hour of road already behind me and my walking and creative needs met without being rushed by Let's-Get-On-The-Road-Now-Hubby. Though he has admitted that taking long breaks since the cats are in the truck with him has been pleasant for him too. Perhaps I'll have him converted soon!
Here's the one minute movie, you'll see why I was so captivated!