Monday, June 9, 2008

Wild Azalea

Mountain azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) is an orange wild azalea that grows in thickets and open woods in Western North Carolina (WNC). It blooms (depending upon the elevation) from mid-Spring until early Summer. I recall that it seemed more abundant when I was a child, but we all know how inaccurate some of our childhood memories are. It is now close to peak in our area. It does not bloom as early as the cultivated azaleas and the bushes are more gangly and less dense. I recently found some and it is a lovely treat for the eyes.

The Mountain Laurel is still blooming in profusion. This is one of the best years for the Laurel in a long time. It will continue to bloom for another three weeks or so and the forests are filled with their beauty.

We have plants on the deck to attract the butterflies and hummingbirds. I caught an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail getting some nectar.

And the heat wave continues. At this writing (7:38 PM EDT) it is still 79 degrees! The air is still and the birds are quiet. Here, in the cool mountains, it is 79 degrees this late in the evening!


The Birdlady said...

The wild azaleas and mountain laurel are favorites of mine...The trail we take at Shenandoah Park is lined for 1/2 mile with mountain laurel on both sides. And the daisies are lovely.

Susan Gets Native said...

Wow. 79 is a heat wave? I need to move to the mountains.

Rurality said...

Nice! I haven't seen that color of wild azalea here, just the pink and white ones. I miss the Mtn Laurel we planted at our old house!

Kerri Farley said...

Those wild azaleas and the mountain laurel are Beautiful!! We finally had a thunderstorm last night and have a bit of relief from the heat...but it is supposed to get back into the 90s today.

Unknown said...

the photos are beautiful. i love mountains. when i was a child i remember a mountain i particularly loved. at the time we lived in hong kong and after school i'd climb the mountain behind the school and could stay there and feel peaceful. i never wanted to go back down.

NCmountainwoman said...

Helen - I love the trails that are lined with the laurel.

Susan - We had a high of 91. And that is a heat wave for us.

Rurality - The flame orange seems to be the most common wild variety around here.

Kerri - I hope you get another respite. Thanks for the comments.

Euythmic - Welcome. Glad to have you. I have a feeling we can't compare to the orient, but it is lovely in our mountains.