Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For a change of scenery ... I ended up in a cloud last week ...

..at ca. 6600 ft (ca 2010m) in a coniferous rainforest..

On my way to the very top..
Pollution, pests, environmental degradation cause
these trees to die. 
A spiraling narrow walkway leads to an observation dome with stunning scenery .... :-)
on non-cloudy days, of course.
Halfway to the  top of the dome, I remembered my fear of heights.
Drats this fear of heights.

Venturing just a tad further, I took a photo of the dome.


Despite the dead trees it appears rather peaceful, doesn't it?




Or does it?



I do love a blustery day even at 6640 ft.

27 comments:

xl said...

What a beautiful and strange place. Thank you for posting these wonderful pix. Where is it?

foam said...

The 2nd highest peak east of the Mississippi .. :)

xl said...

"perhaps you don't want to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only four short hours away?"

Clark Griswold
Vacation

chickory said...

beautiful mystical magical forest. what you wrote about the destruction reminds me of the spectacular atlanta sunsets - many colors, courtesy of smog.

lovely photography Foam.

/t. said...

great atmospheric pics, foam

but it's a shame about the dead trees

adding the vidi gives a whole different perspective on what is going on up there -- the photos don't convey the storminess

very nice

× × ×

/t.

Rolf said...

Pollution at that height is really a shame. Why?

2050 meters was my peak performance in the alps.

foam said...

xl,

AAAAACK!! That's one of the movies I walked out of many years ago.
But besides that .. I'd be inclined to see the 2nd largest ball of twine on the face of the earth. When do we leave?
(PS: It seems this mountain is the 3rd highest peak east of the Mississippi. The 2nd tallest appears to be 7 feet taller, but what does it really matter, eh? It is the tallest mountain in the Smokies though.)

foam said...

chickory,
yup, it's the smog from surrounding cities plus the pollution caused by traffic through this park, plus bugs, et al.. it's a fragile ecosystem way up high. nature is more susceptible.

/t.
Yes, it is a shame about the dead trees. The Smokies are upwind from many man made pollutants. Plus you have your natural pests.

rolf,
Yes, but the Alps go even higher.
The pollution comes from a variety of sources from what I've read over the past few years. Power plants in the Ohio and Tennesee valley. This particular park is upwind of them. Heavy tourism through the park (a mixed blessing since it also brings in much needed income to the local residents. We were there on business, btw.)
I've read that the Alps also have their share of pollution caused in part by some of the heavy traffic through those mountains.

Speaking of pollution .. You were in the Alps just recently. There is pollution in the Alps as well.

dianne said...

Lovely photos dear Foamy,'a walk in the clouds', yes it does look very peaceful! You are a brave girl walking across that narrow walkway with that blustery wind blowing.
Such a shame about the dead trees, I hope with better forest management they can grow more conifers to replace those which have been lost.

xoxoxo ♡

foam said...

Dianne,
Young trees do grow. They don't seem to be able to grow beyond a certain height though.

X. Dell said...

These pics evoke a specific melancholy. I mean, the trees are literally corpses, as in dead bodies of life that was once vibrant.

And I share your fear of heights. Neither of us would make a good housepainter, I'm afraid.

foam said...

x.dell,
Neither of us would make a good manhattan window cleaner either .. :)

puerileuwaite said...

That is how everyday would be if you were with me. Lots of dead trees and always in a fog.

Boxer said...

I also have a fear of heights and I think it's the SMART part our DNA saying ..."hey! we shouldn't be this high up." BUT, what a reward for pushing through becasue these pictures are beautiful. I love the video because it compliments the other photos so well. Are you having a good summer? What's next for you?

Boxer said...

XL's question was mine, so now I know where this is. Just lovely.

Aunty Belle said...

Very eerie. But beautiful. I really really like yore photos, Foamy.

foam said...

Aunty Belle,
Thanks. It was kind of eerie in a beautiful way. I actually ended up loosing my family in this fog ... or they lost me.
I did all this hiking on my own.

Boxer,
Yes, I'm having a pretty good summer. What's next for me? My next outing is the annual family (with parent in-laws, sis and bro-inlaws and their respective spouses and offspring) beach outing. It's fun but I'm also grateful that there are miles and miles of beach to walk on.

Pug,
Lots of dead trees ... hmmm ....
Maybe you should stop tinkling on the trees then .. :) I know .. it's an old joke that you've probably heard tons of time before, but it's the only sort of funny comeback I could think of. As far as the fog .... Maybe you should stop nibbling on those mushrooms that you probably come across amongst those dead trees. You might find that the view is actually clear.

moi said...

Very cool that you have access to mountains and beach. Pollution, unfortunately, is everywhere, and the juxtaposition between the loamy green of the forest floor and those poor dead trees is startling (although, the photos are beautiful). Is there a solution? Probably not without severely curtailing current population figures. That would mean tragedy of another kind. It's okay, nature will eventually win out.

foam said...

moi,
yes, i'm lucky that way .. i live in the foothills and mountains, so that access is easy and immediate. The ocean is a bit of a haul but compared to many other states it is still very doable.
Yes, pollution is every where. The solution .. curtailing fossil fuels which would cut down on the acid rain which would curtail the tourism that brings much needed income to some of these mountain communities.

Rolf said...

Oh, I didn't meant to be rude.

Of course pollution is a problem almost everywhere, it is a shame.

foam said...

Rolf,
Oh no no no, no need to apologize .. You were not rude. Your comment just made me look to see if other high elevations had pollution problems too. I could have mentioned the Carpathian Mountains in the Ukraine. They have ozone air pollution which is effecting vegetation. Like moi said .. it's everywhere.

The Phosgene Kid said...

Fantastic hots!! I miss the woods a lot. Cactus are neat and the desert has it's own charm, but it's not the forest.

foam said...

There is something soothing about being in the forest. It calms me.

HLiza said...

It feels peaceful to me..love the dead trees somehow..they add some mysteries to the scenery..

foam said...

HLiza

I agree. They do add mystery. They are like statues, ancient relics.

Pamela said...

I keep hearing about the "cloud" ... but I don't think it's the beautiful one you posted.

foam said...

pamela,
no, apparently not .. i think it has something to do with computers?

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