Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Part 5, Mountain Laurel Heaven

The dogs and I had hiked to the top of Mount Everett and back down. But before beginning the trip back home, we stopped at beautiful Guilder Pond to enjoy the views and get refreshed:

Seamus was sorely tempted to wade right in as he usually does, but for some reason did not. I was happy that he did not cover himself with mud. But all the dogs were fascinated by the shoreline and investigated it carefully:

My little red car waited for us beneath a canopy of cedar and hemlock:

At this lower altitude, the Mountain Laurel was still mostly in the bud stage, though still lovely. Nevertheless, I knew that we'd pass through a forest of full blooms on our way down the access road. I was looking forward to it:

After one last parting shot of beautiful Guilder Pond, the dogs and I piled back into the car and began our journey down the access road:

As we descended the mountain, the Mountain Laurels became taller and more numerous. Still mostly in the bud stage, I kept alert for the spots I'd seen on the way in where it was in full bloom

And then we were at a low enough altitude for the Mountain Laurel to be mostly fully open. I was not disappointed:

This surely is one of nature's most beautiful plants, and a woodland filled with them is a breathtaking sight:

Mountain Laurels are not tiny bushes. Just look at this one towering above my parked car:

When our hike was over and we were on our way home, I stopped for a cold diet sports drink (well, I actually had 3 of them because I was dehydrated). And then we drove along the small highways through Copake Falls and Hillsdale, New York on our way to the Taconic Parkway. But I couldn't resist stopping for one last photo of this totally unique little shop along the way. I suppose I should have stopped in to see what they had for sale, but in truth I was tired. So I snapped a photo and continued on my way toward home:

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