Pigeon Mountain – a major spur of Lookout Mountain – is a wonderful place, even outside the fabulous wildflower site called The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain. During hunting season – turkey in the spring, and deer in the fall – there are a few roads opened that are closed the rest of the year. These were opened in early September at the beginning of archery season (firearms deer season started today – Saturday, Oct 20, 2012.) I was fortunate enough to get down onto two of these – Estelle Mine Road and Owl Hollow over the past couple of days. Ostensibly the trip on Friday was to photograph an Agalinis species that I really wanted to be, as reported by others, Agilinis decemloba. I got the photo, and I think it’s likely Agalinis tenuifolia instead.
While I was disappointed not to fine retuse corolla lobes on the Agalinis, Friday at Pigeon Mountain, followed with a wonderful drive with my wife on Saturday morning up the Estelle Mine Road, was anything but disappointing. Check out a few of the photos I took on those two days…
There are still Common Evening Primrose growing in many places around Walker County, including this one along the Blue Hole Road. I stopped to photograph it before heading to the cedar glade for the Agalinis examination.
After wandering around the cedar glade for a while, I decided to try to find the TAG Line railroad tunnel that went through Pigeon Mountain. I had known about its existence for a couple of years, but hadn’t found it. The access is through the Owl Hollow Road, and it was closed all year last year. I had noticed that Owl Hollow Road was open this year, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Turned out to be pretty easy to figure out the route to it, and my Subaru made the drive to the north entrace to the tunnel pretty easily.
I wanted to get an idea of what the inside looked like, so I went in about 100 feet with my camera on the tripod. This was an exposure at F16 for 8 seconds at ISO6400, lit by the light from the opening behind us.
I didn’t just look at flowers and tunnels – I did notice that the fall colors are getting pretty near peak, and I wanted to share that with my wife. We headed back down to Estelle Mine Road at 8 AM Saturday to see the fall colors in the morning light. Not being a landscape photographer, these photos don’t do it justice.
Hope you enjoyed the ride(s) – we certainly did.