Late Summer on the Blue Ridge

Late Summer on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Late Summer on the Blue Ridge Parkway

We’re only about 20 miles from the southernmost access point of the Blue Ridge Parkway at Beech Gap so we decided to drive up yesterday afternoon to see if the trees were turning yet. It’s still very green, even at the high point at Richland Balsam.

There are a few colorful signs that autumn is on the way: the bright yellow of goldenrod and an occasional splash of the red berry clusters on the mountain ash.

Berry Clusters on Mountain Ash, Blue Ridge Parkway

Berry Clusters on Mountain Ash, Blue Ridge Parkway

The cooler weather has slowed the butterflies and bees. Claire got several photos of spicebush swallowtails, a tiger swallowtail and a bee just by lurking near some wildflowers and goldenrod for a few minutes:

Spicebush swallowtail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Spicebush swallowtail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Tiger swallowtail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Tiger swallowtail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Bee on Goldenrod, Blue Ridge Parkway

Bee on Goldenrod, Blue Ridge Parkway

Spotted tussock moth caterpillar with a spicebush butterfly in the background

Spotted tussock moth caterpillar with a spicebush butterfly in the background

I think if we get a frost in the next two or three weeks and not much rain, we’ll have a colorful autumn starting around the first week of October.

A few rays of sunlight find their way through the clouds, Blue Ridge Parkway

A few rays of sunlight find their way through the clouds, Blue Ridge Parkway

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6 Comments

Filed under Department of Parks & Conservation

6 responses to “Late Summer on the Blue Ridge

  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing this! We were at Craggy Gardens this weekend and the ash berries were on full display.

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    • Ann

      Thank you! They are so brilliant, aren’t they? The Parkway isn’t a do-it-once kind of thing – each time I’m up there, it seems to be wearing a new outfit.

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  2. ooh! purdy scenery! and butterflies! the caterpillar! i do enjoy wandering forests that aren’t my “normal” —

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    • Ann

      Thanks! That’s the cool thing about blogs – you get to see places you’d never get to on vacation, even if you started now and travelled until you fell over dead.

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  3. This is great nature post with lovely photos.

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