Ephemeral: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail 59

Take a moment to listen to my reading of William Bartram’s Travels describing “mountain vegetable beauties….”*

 

Red bottlebrush buckeye forming seeds: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Red bottlebrush buckeye forming seeds: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail Series

Change

The only constant is change. As I write this, the last of summer lies heavy on the land. The little plants that spring up in the early warmth of the year have completely vanished, and the larger plants, such as red bottlebrush buckeye, are developing fruits to bear seed in the fall or spring of the coming year.

Hiawassee Waterfall: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Hiawassee Waterfall: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

My body grows stronger too, a recent summer hike to a waterfall and back was much easier this Summer than an earlier hike this Spring. Perhaps the dip in the cool refreshing waters had something to do with it.

Many Fleeting Beauties

Thanks to the generosity of my folks, Jimmy and Joy Thompson, my friend Tina and I were able to spend a May weekend exploring the wildflowers of the Highlands Plateau. As part of Wildflower Whimsy and led by a couple of botanists, we hiked down a mountain trail to a waterfall cascading into a river, stopping to ogle the amazing spring ephemerals every step of the way. I saw many fleeting beauties:

Jack in the Pulpit: Wildflower Whimsy Hike by Beth Thompson

Jack in the Pulpit: Wildflower Whimsy Hike by Beth Thompson

Native Violet: Wildflower Whimsy Hike. Photo by Beth Thompson

Native Violet: Wildflower Whimsy Hike. Photo by Beth Thompson

Foam Flower: Wildflower Whimsy Hike. Photo by Beth Thompson

Foam Flower: Wildflower Whimsy Hike. Photo by Beth Thompson

4 Varieties of Trillium: Wildflower Whimsy Hike. Photo by Beth Thompson

4 Varieties of Trillium: Wildflower Whimsy Hike. Photo by Beth Thompson

The Climb

Then came the climb back out. I got majorly frustrated with my slow pace until I remembered, less than a year previously I had been on crutches with a broken toe.

Tattered Butterfly: Hummingbird Walk. Photo by Beth Thompson

Tattered Butterfly: Hummingbird Walk. Photo by Beth Thompson

I remembered eschewing the crutches to climb down to a pontoon boat the summer previously in Highlands, the better to see waterfalls cascading into the lake.  The fact I could do the Wildflower Whimsy hike at all was a testament to the amazing healing powers of the body. That in July 2016 I could hike to a waterfall and swim beneath it truly a miracle of healing.

Magenta Trilluim: Original Photo for Possible Perception below.

Magenta Trilluim: Original Photo for Possible Perception below.

I am approaching another birthday, growing older, perhaps wiser in some ways, more foolish in others. I dream of a macro lens, the better to photograph next year’s spring ephemerals. I dream too of finding a path towards greater self-support in my art. But mostly, I am asking questions. Learning and growing and wondering: what could I do differently next time? How do I calculate the value of this experience? Of that one?

Trillium Possible Perception: by Beth Thompson

Trillium Possible Perception: by Beth Thompson

 

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