June 1, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Breathtaking Blue Ridge views

May was a very wet month here in the Shenandoah Valley, but on the relatively few sunny days we had, I somehow managed to get outdoors enough to get some great scenic photos. While running some errands in Augusta County on May 20, when the sky was clear blue, I took a quick "detour" into the Blue Ridge, stopping to watch birds and soak in the scenery at a couple spots. On Saturday, I drove up to Madison Run, located east of Grottoes, and hiked up the Furnace Mountain trail for about a mile and back. It was cloudy and humid, but at least I got some good photos of fungi (still surprisingly scarce) and butterflies. Mountain Laurel flowers in full bloom were everywhere! A bird report will follow soon. Here is a sample of what you can see on the May 2009 Photo Gallery:

May 2009 montage

TOP ROW: Reservoir south of Stuarts Draft, near Big Levels; Blue-headed vireo, close to that very spot; Boletus mushroom. MIDDLE ROW: Two kinds of butterflies, species yet unknown, and Mountain Laurel flowers, all on the Furnace Mountain trail. BOTTOM ROW: The Rockfish Valley.