The Blue Ridge Expedition hike of The Nature Conservancy's Bluff Mountain Nature Preserve was smiled upon by the weather gods as the fog lifted as the hike began and the rain fell as the hike ended. Hikers were treated with peak blooms of mountain laurel at Perkins Rock and the mesic glade and indian paintbrush in the meadow. Numerous red efts shared the trail without a single casualty which was a minor miracle considering there were thirty feet finding their way.
Catawba rhododendron and pink lady slippers were about finished blooming but the sun dews in the fen were in their full minuscule revery.
Five of the hikers were board members of The Florence Thomas Art School along with the director of the school, Kathleen Janowiak. BRDC and The Florence Thomas Art School are discussing a collaboration of art and nature in the not to distant future as part of the Blue Ridge Illustrated program.
There are two more hikes on the calendar for the Bluff Mountain Nature Preserve with spaces available on August 2 and October 11, first come first serve.