• Kathryn Solee


“A rhododendron bud lavender-tipped. Soon a glory of blooms to clash with the cardinals and gladden the hummingbirds!”

David Beard

Oh yeah! North Carolina is entering phase one of the stay at home order, which means the North Carolina Arboretum is opening today. The Arboretum is limiting the number of people accessing the grounds, and I intend to be there before the crowds. Even though it’s a chilly 37ºF, the dogs and I arrive in the lower parking lot a little after opening at 8:00 a.m.

National Native Azalea Collection

We start by walking up Bent Creek Road to the National Native Azalea Collection to see what remains. As expected, not as showy, but there were still a few blooming in full glory.

Bent Creek Beach

The next stop was the beach where the dogs enjoyed the water.

The Rhododendron

We continued along the Bent Creek Trail, up the Carolina Mountain Trail, down the Natural Garden Trail, where we found the Rhododendron. Our timing couldn’t have been better as the Rhododendron were in full bloom.


As we headed down the Wesley Branch Trail, we encountered the only people we saw – a couple also happy to have the Arboretum open. We hiked almost 7 miles today in peaceful solitude. My soul has had its nature fix for today.

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