Day 20, homeward bound. Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway from Benge Gap in Ashe County, south 155 miles to State Road 215 in Haywood County. Ten blissful wildflower hours. Twelve devotional stops for opportunities like this. Over dosing with infatuation.
12:30 pm. Three Knob overlook near Crabtree Meadows, milepost 339. While flat on my back, conducting myself like any prototypically aggressive advanced amateur photographer would under the circumstances, camera aiming skyward up the rock face, isolating a goatsbeard floating on the draft, a curious question echoed about, “What kind of flower is this?” Craning my surprised neck from ground level, scanning, locating and focusing, “Water parsnip,” I echoed like a sonar blip. He patted me on the back for that one, satisfied and a bit avuncular.
Such was my upturned introduction to Harry Ellis, resident of Bakersville in Mitchell County. Wildflower photographer for 40-years. Extensively published in outdoor photography magazines. He had a trunk full of exhibits, too. Covers, articles, essays. Beautiful eye-popping work. I felt small and inadequate. He even showed me a shot of trout lilies growing on a tree branch. Remarkable, trout lilies don’t grow in trees!! I turned off my camera and replaced the lens cap.
Looking back on that day,
I wish Harry Ellis could see this shot.
© r1215-12 Blackberry
Mile Post 422.0
Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
Tuesday 12 June 2001