Consensus among the locals is that it has been a strange winter this year.  The warm temperatures and early wildflowers that typically show up with March have been delayed.  The good thing about the rain that arrived today is that it should begin to wash away the snow and ice that still covers the uppers elevations.  Just in time for me to begin work up on LeConte.
          Yesterday I decided to head out to Greenbrier and inspect the Porters Creek Trail.  I wasn't surprised that I wouldn't see any wildflowers, but it would have been neat to see one, as a good sign of things to come perhaps.  The overcast sky and warm air made for a great afternoon.  The last time I was here was back in June when the forest was full and green, so it was neat to see everything so open, especially around the old homestead and Fern Branch Falls.
Picture
Fern Branch Falls as seen near the base.
          There were no wildflowers to be seen anywhere, which wasn't a surprise, but now I can be sure that I haven't missed anything.  The only wildlife action were four friendly deer sifting through the leaves for food.  It was still a pleasant afternoon for a stroll in the park.
          Today has been very laid back and logistical, just doing some last minute shopping before work begins and in preparation of the supply airlift for the Lodge.  The rain has put a damper on things, but it is necessary for winter to wave bye-bye and for spring to arrive, and when it does, I'll be ready!
Matty
3/13/2010 12:37:17 am

Very impressive site, sir. I think I will follow along. What exactly do you do at LeConte Lodge?

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Dan Murphy
3/15/2010 12:21:20 am

Congratulations on your arrival to the Mt Leconte Lodge. Hope your first few weeks are enjoyable. I will continue looking through your website over the next few days and drop in now and again for your updates. Maybe I will get down there from Michigan this year for a hike up Leconte and visit with you. Do you remember the time Kelly and I stayed with you and your family on Leconte many years ago?

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Pam
3/15/2010 01:05:33 am

I love your pictures - what type of camera do you use?

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Pat (Mom)
3/16/2010 04:14:34 am

Thank you for allowing me to be part of this beautiful hike. Don't forget to mention me in your 2009 Gregory Bald entry. Take care, Mountain Man!

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sally
3/26/2010 08:08:13 am

Hi to one of my favorite piano students! Your pictures are great - as is your commentary.

Take care in your endeavors this year!
Sally

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