This week’s Picture of the Week is a special one for a number of reasons. First, the picture is one of my favorites from the year so far – I absolutely love this image.  Typically when I think of stream scenes, I think of the fall, and this image is a great illustration of how the streams in the Smokies can be (and are) pretty during any season!  Second are the circumstances around the picture.  Holly and I got to stay at the lodge on top of Mt. Leconte earlier this summer, because I was hired to go there and photograph a very unique and interesting individual.  I can’t share who just yet, but let me just say, I think you’re going to love this man’s story (the story will publish early in the fall).  I know we did!  Anyway, it was on that trip that we discovered all the rhododendrons blooming along the Kephart Prong, at the Alum Cave Bluff trail head.  I’ve often commented how I’ve never seen all the rhododendrons blooming that line the banks of our gorgeous streams… and it turns out it’s because I’ve been looking for them to bloom at the wrong time of year!  It was absolutely gorgeous though!

A quick comment about the photo.  One of the challenges of photographing the streams in the Smokies, particularly during the fall, is that by the time you get down to – and in – the streams, you’re surrounded by rhododendron and mountain Laurel, which are evergreen plants.  Those dark green leaves tell a story, but in the fall, that’s not the story I’m looking to tell! 🙂 The trick is finding locations where the fall colors can be seen in the background (of the spring colors for that matter).  Well, in early July when the rhododendrons are actually blooming, the big green blobs actually work to your advantage because they’re covered in gorgeous white and pink blooms!  I can tell you I had a blast photographing these beauties and I’m already looking forward to seeing the blooms again next year!

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Cades Cove
US-441, Bryson City, NC 28713, USA

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