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Craggy Gardens Summit and Shope Creek

 Craggy Gardens, Gnarly Tree Reaching in All Directions

Craggy Gardens, Gnarly Tree Reaching in All Directions

After this relentless rain, I’m thinking of the trees I love to visit on the Blue Ridge, especially the gnarly old trees at the summit on Craggy Gardens. Following all the rain this year, the roots of many trees were exposed more than usual. Trees are so critical in holding the earth in place and in preventing land and rock slides. They are also so helpful in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. This tree seemed to reaching in all directions, uniting the elements and helping our earth so much.

 Tree Growing Horizontally from the Earth

Tree Growing Horizontally from the Earth

This tree must have toppled long ago. Now it seems to be growing horizontally, its roots connecting with the earth and arching up like elbows. At least it won’t have been affected by the storm, its orientation to the earth having already been altered.

 Shope Creek, Pisgah Forest

Shope Creek, Pisgah Forest

On the way home, I stopped in the Shope Creek Wilderness area and hiked to the creek. That day, it was running freely but within the bounds of its banks. Now it must be overflowing. It dawned on me today how one storm can transform the peaceful nature we know into a place fraught with danger. Water can be gentle, but it can also be a deceivingly powerful force that can sweep us away in seconds.

 Takoda Watching Shope Creek

Takoda Watching Shope Creek

Takoda was mesmerized by the running water. He enjoyed watching the creek as much as he did swimming in it.

 Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Just before we left Shope Creek, we saw this striking cardinal flower. I wonder how these delicate beauty fared with all the pouring rain and wind.