Magic lantern on Beauregard Ridge

I’m always looking for a good exercise hike not far from home in Sylva, NC. Lately I’ve latched onto the Noland Divide trail up to Beauregard Ridge. It’s 3.5 miles and a 2200′ climb to the Lonesome Pine side trail. If I dawdle and take pictures, it takes around three hours roundtrip—I’ve done it in two and a half.

Last spring I went up there and caught the new leaves emerging at around 4000′ elevation. If you go to this post and scroll past the azalea and laurel blossoms, you’ll see tiny, fuzzy leaves. Some of them may even be the same leaves shown here.

It was a cloudy day when I went up there recently, but sometimes I prefer fall colors under muted gray skies rather than brilliant blue that can seem overstated.

I spent most of my time looking at leaves up close. Click on any photo for zoom.

I’d enjoy the view of the surrounding ridges, richly upholstered in many colors, and then zero in on the universe of colors up close.

The clouds were lowering as I descended back toward the ordinary world . . . beautiful.

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