I wanted to kill some time, and the day was too pretty to stay cooped up indoors. So I took the car out for a spin.
I took these photos from the highest part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, in Jackson County, near Sylva. It still looked like winter up this high (around 5500 – 6,000 ft). Most of the trees are still bare, though a few are starting to bud. A little higher up, and deciduous trees give way completely to Fraser firs (a type of conifer native to the Southern Appalachians that grows on the highest slopes).
The microclimate at these heights has been compared to that of states much farther north, and even southern Canada. It never gets very hot here, even in the summer, and it gets a lot more snowfall than we do in the valleys and lower elevations. I don’t think anyone actually lives this high up, though.