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On a August trip thru Virginia on our way back to Tallahassee, we stopped to see Aunt Jackie and take a ride up into the mountains. Clinch Mt has been the usual destination but I guess she had been holding back on this place to the southeast (take Cedar Springs Rd down thru Speedwell, turn west, go up a bunch of recently washed out dirt/gravel roads, and you are there. This is all part of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area - Mount Rogers being the highest point in Virginia.

The summit of Mount Rogers stands at an elevation of 5729 feet; the lake is 3371. It is an impoundment built with an earthen dam and made for recreation, especially fishing. Walking the 1/2 mile loop around, we found 3 small streams feeding into the lake.

Here's the highlight of my day - a Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium superbum).

I'm gonna assume that it is pronounced superb-um and not super-bum. Anyways, I think this lily was on the road between Comer's Rock and Hale Lake. And if you follow down below the orange loop, there's more wildflowers. Guess I could add these to my wildflower life list - if I had such a thing.

Large Flowered or White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) It took awhile to identify this as most guides and websites display the flower and not the fruit. 3 leaves, heavily veinated, must be a trillium, not arisaema, but look at the size of the leaves. It would fill a dinner plate.

Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria) - I read that there are lots of variations in the white dots on the pink flowers. Note the 2 spiky flowerheads. I saw this twice hiding below heavy cover. Introduced from Eurasia, this would never be considered an invasive plant but how it got to the top of Comer Rock is a good question.

Downy Rattlesnake-Plantain (Goodyera pubescens) This has white flowers on a small stem similar to Lady Tresses or Bog Orchids but the iPhone doesn't focus very well on both stem and leaf so I went with the unique basal leaves.

I'm guessing this is another trillium; sure looks like the ones I see in Florida but maybe it's a lily. Next to it is a violet of some sort. Could be the common violet but there are so many species and variations of leaves.

Today's extra-special website find is Mid Atlantic Hikes - neat place with good photos and descriptions put together by a cast of experts. Also features birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, mushrooms...

Bonus photo of butterfly bush from Jackie's side yard. Consider it my Bug of the Day (while I work on identifying yesterday's bug found, again, on the exterior wall by the door.)

When I woke this morning it was 72º but humidity was at 98%. My rain gauge has been showing 1/2 to 1 inch each day. Only 1 more month till we get a break in the weather but that is also when the hurricane season really gets going.

I will probably be off later working on TARDIS again but still within cell phone range so I can check in. And The Daily Bucket is now open for your thoughts and observations...


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