Ahhhh.. the greens of spring...
Last weekend my wife and I joined some friends for a couple nights of camping at Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina. We had some fun hanging our around the campfire, rowing a boat on the lake, and hiking around to a couple different spots in the park.
The photos started on the first morning. I awoke at 5am and was planning on driving down from the campground to the Hanging Rock trailhead. As soon as I woke up, I realized that I would be walking. The campsite was SUPER quiet. I just couldn't start a car and potentially wake up a bunch of people.
The road was nicely moonlit so the first part of my walk didn't require a flashlight, but as soon as I got to the trailhead and into more dense forest, I needed to turn on the headlamp. As soon as I turned on the lamp I was welcomed by many sets of glowing eyes looking back at me from the trees! Some deer must have been out for an early breakfast. Also, as I walked along I notices many reflective 'sparkles' on the forest floor, which turned out reflections from the eyes of spiders! but I digress...
The Sunrise from Hanging Rock was pretty nice.. This first photo is probable my favorite of the set, it is a panorama using the Nikon 20mm(images shot vertically).
I only had a brief few moments of color, so I started to climb around and look for the blooming rhododendrons. Looking for these awesome plants didn't take long, they are EVERYWHERE. Below you can see them dot the cliff side.
The rhododendrons at the bottom of the image in the above photo are the same as below. Seeing a bloom that big, I thought it was well worth the scramble down to check 'em out.
As I crawled back through the bush to get back to the main trail, I couldn't help but admire all the rhododendrons. It is simply lovely.
This is a panorama of a spot on the trail where you can see one of the rock overlooks hanging over. It's a cool spot that lets you know you are close!
After my morning hike, and a little breakfast, it was time to hike a bit with the wife and friends.
We hit up Window Falls, Hidden Falls, and Upper Cascades. The three falls are located on two very short hikes.
After a little boating and tanning, we headed up to Moore's Knob for sunset. We got up there kinda early, so fortunately everyone was ok with hanging out for a while and watching it go down.
This is another panorama. I thought I was going to have to use multiple exposures, but the Nikon D750's dynamic range is pretty awesome. The photos I used to create this panorama were REALLY dark in the foreground before processing.
On the last night of the trip, I decided to take a few shots of us around the campfire. I told everyone to hold super still, and we put together these scenes. On the last two photos, Doug thought creatively and decided to throw a rock in the fire right before the photo. Sure looks cool if you ask me:)