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© 2018 by Joshua T. Moore

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV

Black Balsam Sunrise

May 22, 2018

The Black Balsam area of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Pisgah National Forest is one of my favorite sections along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had been thinking about doing a sunrise her for a couple of weeks and finally decided to go ahead and just plan on going. Before I knew it, 3 am came and I was up getting dressed and packing my gear and trying my best to not wake up my wife. I stopped by a 24 hour gas station, grabbed some gas and a cup of coffee and by 3:30 am I was well on my way.

 

I ended up getting to Black Balsam about 5:15 am, I could start to see color in the sky. I thought I might really get a really colorful sunrise and was getting fairly excited. I pulled my camera out and set up my tripod color was starting to take over the sky, it looked like it was catching on fire. As I looked out over the valley I could see Mt Pisgah with some beautiful orange and yellow tones above it. About 15 minutes later the sky was putting on a colorful show. I spent about half an hour here enjoying the view and taking some photographs of scenes that caught my eye.

 

I decided to head down to the Graveyard Fields, I wanted to hike down to the upper falls and see how the water flow was. I had also heard from my friend Nick that Painted Trillium was blooming along the trail and I love photographing trillium's. Painted trillium's are rarer than most of the trillium's that bloom in our area, they typically grow later and at higher elevations as well. I  started down to the Graveyard Fields and I noticed the sky over the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was sight I had not seen much, so I pulled off to take a shot of the orange sky over the road. Once I was happy with that shot I headed on down the road and pulled into the Graveyard Fields. Right beside the bathrooms I noticed the sun rising over the mountain, I really liked this shot a lot. After getting that shot I grabbed my camera and tripod and went walking down the Parkway. I cam across some beautiful pink shelled azaleas. I set up for a really nice shot of them with the sunrise. I got some great color and a really nice sunburst, I really couldn't be happier. I decided to just sit back and enjoy the rest of the sunrise, I was really happy with what I had captured and just wanted to enjoy the moment.

 

After the sun had made it up I decide to head on down the trail, I really wanted to find some painted trillium's. Shortly after jumping onto the trail that leads you to the falls I noticed the trillium growing all around me. Hundreds of them littered the forest floor and they had just bloomed. I was very excited and spent about an hour photographing them along the trail and next to the top of the falls. The water wasn't flowing so well, so I opted out of going on down to the lower portion of the falls and decided to just take my time going back and just enjoy the trillium.

 

I decided to just check out the next 20 miles of the Parkway, I wasn't sure if I would find anything I really liked at this point. The skies were clear and without the clouds the light gets really intense and doesn't make for to good of photographs. I did end up finding a couple of things I liked, but for the most part I was ready to head home. I decided to take Route 215 to Canton, NC. For those of you that don't know, this is a very beautiful drive down the mountains. On the way down I stopped by Green Creek and photographed the waterfall there. I could never find the name for this waterfall, so I just call it Green Creek Falls. The water was flowing nicely and the sun wasn't high enough yet to shine down on it, so I was able to get a nice long exposure of it. Once I left there I was heading towards Canton. As I passed Logan Lake I noticed how calm the water was, the reflection was looking really good, I pulled off the road and shot this as well. Sometimes you just come across stuff you really enjoy, so I always keep my camera with me ready to shoot.

 

I made it through Canton and jumped on I-40 and got off exit 435. I wanted to go the back road home and take my time enjoying the farms along the way. I decided to check out the Osprey nest I found the previous week on Douglas Lake. She was there on her nest and I decided to go grab a couple shots of her. I was about 20 yards away and she was chirping like crazy. I was on a bridge so it wasn't like I could really get to her nest, but whatever, it did not matter to her. She jumped up and flew down right at me. I hit the ground quick as she missed me and flew on past me. I jumped up, grabbed a shot of her flying away and decided to head back to the car. I didn't want her flying into a car and getting hurt. Plus her talons are crazy huge! I felt that was enough, time for me to go home and work on my images and maybe relax a little.

 

Thanks for reading! If you see any photographs you would like to get a print of, please head over to the contact page and fill out the form. I am really good about getting back fairly quickly. Thanks again for your support and I hope you enjoyed this blog.

 

 

 

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