It’s been an unusually wet spring, but with enough sun to make flowering plants very happy, it seems.  And several different hikes this month have offered varying vistas and plant varieties.  Early in the month, Holly’s sister-in-law Lonni (and her two dogs) and I hiked along the Appalachian Trail a ways up The Priest, and found, as we had hoped, Mountain Laurel in bloom.  (As always on this blog, click on individual pictures for a larger image.)

Shortly afterwards, I hiked the Fortune Cove trail on the other side of the county with a new friend, Jim, where beautiful stands of mountain laurel were likewise in bloom.

With almost perfect timing in the third week of May, our friend Sue and I hiked up Spy Rock, with  great views and with a quite extraordinary abundance of wildflowers along the trailside on the way up.

Click here for pictures of some of the wildflowers along the trail

At the foot of the rock dome, the Flaming Azalea were spectacular, with Rhododendron just beginning to bloom:

As always, the challenge of climbing Spy Rock was rewarded with fabulous vistas.