Male Swallowtail
Swallowtail feeds young family.

Recently at Valle Crucis Park, mainly getting exercise, I noticed a lot of birds racing low across the open fields. They were fast and agile, darting one direction to the next searching for food.

I was close to a box and it was numbered ’81.’ While observing the feeding of several birds one came close, landed and entered the box. I took a picture and noticed it was a Tree Swallow. All of those birds were Tree Swallows. They are a fast flying songbird. Males have a bluish color and the females not so pronounced. The notched tail is a trademark of the swallowtail.

Anyway, I photographed this one male coming and going from the box. No doubt there are young ones in box 81.

View from Mount Jefferson
A beautiful view of the surrounding area.

A beautiful place to visit and have a nice family picnic. There are also great views of the surrounding valley, Jefferson and West Jefferson. You can also see far into Tennessee and Virginia.

To add to the adventure there are plenty of trails to explore and you can park your family at the shelter at the top and have a nice cookout. Restrooms are available.

Wat to visit? Go to this link for more information: Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

A trail message that I will never forget
Linville River
View up the Linville River after coming down the Linville Gorge Trail from the Babel Trail.

A hike down the Babel trail on a rather hot and muggy day yielded me a pleasant conversation with a woman from Cornelius, NC. She was teaching her rescue dog how to be a good trail hiking buddy. He was doing pretty good for the most part but all the smells seemed to overwhelm him at times. His name was Lucky.

Anyway, God spoke to me today when I found a coin laying on the trail just visible on a flat rock. At first I thought it was a bottle cap but when I picked it up to place in my pocket I noticed a cross all the way through and inscriptions on both sides.

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Fall on the Parkway

Autumn in the mountains of North Carolina draws people from all over the country. During peak season the surrounding area is flooded with leaf lookers searching for some spectacular color combinations.

Those who ride in the car can travel the back roads and the Blue Ridge Parkway for the easy views. Many opt to hike in and capture their favorite panoramic shots on the many trails available in the High Country. Below are some of the trail selected that produce the best color for those who seek the beauty and the adventure in one package.

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