My wife and I were going over to Waynesville, NC on Thursday to pick up a granddaughter who had been spending a few days with her best friend from Papua New Guinea. Being the fall color season, we wanted to take some time for some photographs in the mountains, so we left early, before 7 AM. It turned out that sunrise was just as we were getting to Lake Ocoee (also known as Parksville Lake), and the cool morning brought fog and mist with it. We also had time to take brief drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the daytrip to Waynesville.
At our second stop along the lake we discovered that the Clematis was in seed, which is nearly as attractive as the blossom. I’m not sure which species this is, but it and another species were quite abundant throughout the trip.
Lake Ocoee has a dramatic backdrop in Big Frog Mountain, at 4200′ the tallest peak in southeast Tennessee.
A little further up the lake we stopped at the boat ramp and I took this low-angle shot of Big Frog Mountain in the background.
Just before entering the Ocoee River Gorge we pulled over to look back west down the lake. Due to some environmental problems many years ago, silt from upstream has nearly filled this end of the lake, and this area is above water during the winter draw-down. Someone has planted cypress trees in the seasonally submerged areas.
This is the time of year for Asters, and the Ocoee River Gorge (and really, the whole distance to Waynesville) had its share of purple asters.
My wife spotted a small patch of the lovely Agalinis hidden between patches of purple Asters. I think these are probably Agalinis purpurea.
We finally left the Ocoee area, and hurried on through the Nantahala Gorge and on to Waynesville. We had about 30 minutes to spare, so we took a short drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trees weren’t the only colorful sights along the way.
Of course, especially at 4,000′ and up, the color of the trees made us wish we had more time for a longer drive on the Parkway.