Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saturday Evening Sunset

Saturday Evening Sunset
Grandfather Mountain, NC
Saturday, August 20th, 2011

A steady rain had fallen most of the afternoon and into the evening.  Based on the amount of fog and cloud cover, I didn't think the sunset would amount to much.  However, you never know what you will find on top of the mountain.
Shortly before Sunset


Sunset from Grandfather Mountain


Rain Showers during Sunset
I was really hoping for some lightning bursts in the distance, but it just didn't happen


Sunset from Grandfather Mountain


Sunset from Grandfather Mountain
Again you can see the rain showers on the right side of the photo


Final Glimpse of the Sun
Until tomorrow!



The full set of photos from Day 2 of the
Grandfather Mountain Photography Weekend is located here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crowds in the Fog

Crowds in the Fog
Grandfather Mountain, NC
Saturday, August 20th, 2011

The rain had let up a bit and I thought there might be some interesting cloud on top of the Mountain.  Saturday Afternoons during summer at Grandfather Mountain is about the worst time to visit if you want to stay away from the crowds!  I am sure it would have been much worse if the earlier rain didn't scare a bunch of them away!

The Mountain Top was pretty much still covered in Fog when I arrived, but I took a few shots anyway.












Monday, August 29, 2011

Bees and Flowers

Grandfather Mountain, NC
Saturday, August 20th, 2011

I changed over the the Macro Lens for a little while Saturday afternoon to take advantage of some of the Grandfather Mountain Flowers.  Most of the flowers are past peak this time of year, but I was able to find a few subjects to photograph.















Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bears and Otters

Wildlife Photos from Day 2
Grandfather Mountain, NC
Saturday, August 20th, 2011

After a nice hike on the Grandfather Trail, the clouds rolled in and the rain started to fall.  Since it always rains when I go camping, I have learned to make the best of it!

I decided to head to the Animal Habitats to see what creatures were out and about.  The good news is that the rain caused almost all of the tourists to head inside or back into their cars, leaving the Animal Habitats virtually croud free.

Black Bear in the rain 


Shaking off the rain like a big wet dog!
I wish the focus would have been better on this shot!


Standing at attention


The rain did not stop the Otters from frolicking about!  I didn't get any great Otter shots, but here are a few.

A pair of Otters



Otter Sex

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Grandfather Trail

The Grandfather Trail
Grandfather Mountain, NC
Saturday, August 20th, 2011

After enjoying an awesome Sunrise from on top of Grandfather Mountain I decided to go for a hike!

One of my favorite trails anywhere is the Grandfather Trail. Since I have written about this trail several times before, I won’t go into a lot of detail. Instead I will just post some photos.

View of the Mile High Swinging Bridge a short distance up from the trail head
Approaching McCrae Peak - Very Steep Climb Ahead!
A series of Ladders Lead the way up McCrae Peak


A more distant view of the Mile-Hile Swinging Bridge from a bit over a Mile High!


The last Ladder up to the Summit of McCrae Peak



Iggy Crawls out of my pack on McCrae Peak


One of my favorite Rock Formations along the Grandfather Trail


In the past, I have only hiked this trail as far as Calloway Peak, but today I would go a little further.

A short distance past Calloway Peak, I spotted something in the woods. Being the curious person that I am, I had to go investigate. It soon became obvious that scattered around were the remains of an old plane wreck.
Plane wreck a short distance off trail near Calloway Peak

I later learned that the wreckage has been there over 30 years. On May 12th, 1978 a pilot flying solo took off from the Asheville, NC airport in a Cessna 182Q. He got lost in the thick fog and crashed into the tree covered mountaintop near Grandfather Mountain’s Calloway Peak. The pilot did not survive the crash!

I continued east along the trail a short distance to the “Viaduct View” which offers a nice, but distant view of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Linn Cove Viaduct.

The Linn Cove Viaduct along the Blue Ridge Parkway

I hiked about 3 miles in which would make for a total of about 6 miles. However, this 6-mile hike feels more like a 10-mile hike!  Because of my nice early start I didn't see a single other person on the hike out, but saw about (50) others on the hike back in.

A couple of other hikers on top of McCrae Peak

Friday, August 26, 2011

Grandfather Mountain Sunrise

Grandfather Mountain Sunrise
Saturday, August 20th, 2011

One thing about camping with a bunch of photographers is that there is no need to set an alarm clock!  About an hour before sunrise the campground starts to come alive with activity and noise.  This might not be good if you are looking to sleep in, but it sure does encourage you to crawl out of that sleeping bag to join the caravan of photographers up the mountain!

This mornings sunrise was definitely worth the little bit of lost sleep!


Just before Sunrise - the sky starts to light up


Grandfather Mountain Sunrise
I love the Cloud formation around McCrae Peak (Left side of Photo)


Grandfather Mountain Sunrise at the Mile High Swinging Bridge



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grandfather Mountain Photos from Day 1

Grandfather Mountain, NC
Friday, August 19th, 2011

A few more photos from the first day of my Grandfather Mountain Camping Weekend

The Grandfather Mountain Entrance Sign


Plenty of Flowers and Bees to Photograph


Grandfather Mountain View


At the Mile High Swinging Bridge


Daylight Ended with a Spectacular Sunset, so I will share a few more sunset shots

Grandfather Mountain Sunset


Grandfather Mountain Sunset


Later in the evening, I attempted a bit of night sky photography.
I wasn't really happy with the way any of them turned out, but I will share it anyway

Star Trails - 15 minute exposure

The complete set of photos from Day 1 of my
Grandfather Mountain Camping Weekend is posted here:



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Black Rock Trail

The Black Rock Trail
Grandfather Mountain, NC
Friday, August 19th, 2011

After setting up camp, I wanted to get the blood moving with a quick afternoon hike.  I decided on the Black Rock Trail.  The trail is about a mile long making for a two mile out and back hike.  While it is a very rocky trail, it maintains a fairly constant elevation.  At least until the end!

Boulders along the Black Rock Trail


Steep Climb at the End of the Black Rock Trail


The last part of the trail forms a small "Lolli-Pop Loop" with several short side trails leading to some steep climbs up some huge boulders.  Some excellent views await from on top of the Rocks!

View from the end of the Black Rock Trail


View from the end of the Black Rock Trail

View from the end of the Black Rock Trail