Saturday, September 10, 2011

Escape from the heat!

It has been unbearably hot this summer which kept me from my porch, and indoors for most of the month of August.  I was delighted to escape to Highlands NC, at the Mountain Retreat and Learning Center for a lovely three day weekend.  This was another trip sponsored by the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History.  The current President of the Friends is a Past Director of the Highlands Biological Station and was the organizer of this trip.  He had also promised to lead us on some great hikes up Whiteside and Scaley Mountains to view the flora and fauna.

The Mountain Retreat includes the majority of Little Scaley Mountain.  The facilities are on top of the mountain, where there are great views from the decks of buildings and the tower.  The sunset photo above, was taken from the tower (photo at right was taken earlier in the day).  While the view from the top of the tower was beautiful, the wind was howling!

The mountain top is a rock bald with a forest of ancient wind-sheared white oak (krummhloz), that are 400 to 500 years old.  The view from the deck of the Lodge where we were staying was wonderful!

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