One of the first places we explored was the Tanawah Trail, where I found this twisted tree.
Sims Pond has a dam spillway which caught some colorful leaves (almost an autumn preview!) and attracted this little fellow, who flew in and waded briefly.
There were some lepidopterans and bees about.
On the way back, we found a jay feather. Back at the "ranch", I photographed it.
It might have looked better cleaned and pristine, but I enjoyed a close view in its natural state.
As evening wore on, this gorgeous creature landed on an angled railing near me. As I scrambled to grab a camera and a macro lens, it flew off, but returned, buzzed my face, and landed again. I got a series of close shots, and although it became shy and took flight when I switched position to get different angles, it kept coming back. I felt I had almost become "the butterfly whisperer!"
The next morning, as we prepared to leave, the sun and fog provided perfect light for a forest creature like a fawn. Unfortunately, none were around. I satisfied myself with an attempt to capture some of the beauty of the light itself.
We had to leave all too soon, returning to the heat and "normalcy" of Raleigh, NC. I'm ready for another adventure already.