Brilliant Color of Flame Azalea

Rhododendron calendulaceum, commonly known as flame azalea, is an upright, loosely branched deciduous shrub. It is native primarily to woodland slopes and mountain balds in the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia. Here are some images from Roan Mountain Bald in North Carolina/Tennessee.

Flame Azalea
Brilliant Color of Flame Azalea

Hiking Up Roan Mountain Bald


Located on the North Carolina/Tennessee state line, Roan Mountain is actually more of a mountain range about 5 miles long – called a massif – than it is a single peak. Famous for its Catawba Rhododendron gardens with its brilliant purple flowers in spring. Grassy Ridge, along the eastern flank of Roan Mountain, is the longest stretch of grassy bald in the Appalachian Mountains. These treeless mountaintops offer spectacular views, fields of grass waving in the winds, and an alpine-like hiking experience. Will post images from this vista over the next few days.

Hiking Up Roan Mountain Bald

Covered Bridges

A covered bridge is a timber-truss bridge with a roof, decking, and siding, which in most covered bridges create an almost complete enclosure. The purpose of the covering is to protect the wooden structural members from the weather.

Here are a couple of covered bridges in North Carolina.

Covered Bridge in Hart Park
Covered Bridge to a Winery

A Bridge from a Bridge – New Bern

A view of the Neuse River Bridge from the Alfred A Cunningham Bridge, a drawbridge in New Bern, North Carolina..

The Neuse River Bridge, one of the largest public works projects in North Carolina, provided a complex yet functional bypass at the historic town of New Bern.

A Bridge from a Bridge New Bern

What is a Zonkey?

A “zonkey” is a hybrid cross produced by mating a zebra and a donkey. Zonkeys are not a true species because they have an odd number of chromosomes and cannot reproduce. While zonkeys are rare, they are bred in a number of zoos and specialized farms around the world.

Here is a zonkey at Catawba Farms in Newton, North Carolina. It doesn’t seem to look either like a donkey or a zebra!

Zonkey