I had to get out of the house yesterday and clear my head. I’ve been very upset about the situation with the children at the border.
Nature usually calms my soul and centers me, so in spite of the iffy, partly cloudy weather, I took a drive to Mount Mitchell State Park, about 50 miles to the north from where I live. Mount Mitchell is part of the Black Mountains (eastern flank of the Blue Ridge) and at 6,683 ft is the highest mountain on the East Coast (Mount Washington in New Hampshire is the second highest, at 6,289 ft).
It was noticeably cooler at the summit, almost sweater weather. That high up, only conifer trees can grow, and the area is known for its Frasier firs, a species known only to this area that almost died out about twenty years ago due to an aphid infestation. There are still many white skeleton-looking trunks of the trees that died off, mixed with the newer trees, giving the area an eerie but interesting look.
I took these photos. Hope you like them.