This is a handful of photos about “blossoms of the Plott Balsams,” a phrase that begs to be simplified the same way we simplify equations in arithmetic. So we arrive at “Plott Blossoms.”
The Plott Balsams are the range southeast of the Smokies that separates the drainage of the Oconoluftee from the drainage of the Tuckasegee. They are right in my backyard, though it is not accurate to say that I live “in the shadow of the Plott Balsams,” as they are to the north of me.
I am so fortunate to have these mountains very close. Several times every week I do a short hike in the Fisher Creek valley or along the crest of the Plotts, which include five peaks over 6000′ in elevation.
These photos were taken two weeks ago, many of them around 5000′, and the laurel and azalea are just about gone now. But you can look for them next year.
And after I left, the mysterious woods with its boulders and vines returned to its solitude.