The first I took on a weekend hike in the North Carolina mountains, along the Appalachian trail. Most everyone we met was a thru-hiker, a little over 100 miles into their trek. It was frigid, temperatures were in the 20s during the night, and our water bottles were freezing solid. We ascended Cheoah Bald on Saturday. At 5062 feet it was quite the climb, especially wearing full winter gear. In the deep forest, the trees were caked in snow, even the finest twigs iced with white.
The second set I took today during a nice jaunt through the Virginia Highlands in Atlanta. The sun was out and it smelled of spring – rich wet earth, freshly mown grass, the subtle scent of tree blossoms. It’s a wonderful neighborhood of older houses, each with unique character and architecture. The old oaks stretch long moss-covered limbs over the road, forming an archway of brown and green. The sidewalks were still wet from a morning rain; tiny purple and white flowers fell like snow, covering the cracked concrete.