I had a wonderful day driving around western North Carolina earlier this fall. I recently transplanted from Central Texas, and if you have never visited that part of the world it is…in two words…hot and dry. And, to make matters worse, Texas is experiencing a severe drought so when you look out your window it has the appearance of winter. Everything is crunchy underfoot and brown. For a gardener, it is really discouraging. So the drive through parts of western NC was like taking a kid through a candy store.
The views are breathtaking. And the variety of plant material is amazing. If you stand in one spot and take a really good look, you can see a number of very different plants.
Even though the asters (Aster shortii) were beginning to fade, they were plentiful.
There was no shortage of Goldenrod (Solidago sp.).
I even found these seed pods for Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum) to be quite intriguing.
And then there were these trees filled with beautiful, bright reddish orange berry clusters. This remains a mystery tree for me. I am on the hunt to find out exactly what it is. (If you know, please educate me!) I do know that I have so much to learn!
The drive was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Now if I can just remember to take my folding chair with me next time!