Trips: Shenandoah 2016

In the south district, fall's colors flow from the mountain slopes into the Shenandoah valley below.

In the south district, fall's colors flow from the mountain slopes into the Shenandoah valley below.

A colorful hillside of red sumac and fog on a late autumn day.

A colorful hillside of red sumac and fog on a late autumn day.

After the Rocky Mount fire has long been extenuished, springs green emerges through the fog, contrasting with the eery black...

After the Rocky Mount fire has long been extenuished, springs green emerges through the fog, contrasting with the eery black ash of an adjoining ridge.

Lower Doyles Falls 2016

Lower Doyles Falls 2016

Rarely crowded, South River Waterfall is one of the Park's most impressive falls in the rainy season.  It is also one with the...

Rarely crowded, South River Waterfall is one of the Park's most impressive falls in the rainy season. It is also one with the most snakes!

A small cascade drains the basin below South River Falls.

A small cascade drains the basin below South River Falls.

A gentle sunset of purples, pinks and magentas color the evening sky this spring in 2016.

A gentle sunset of purples, pinks and magentas color the evening sky this spring in 2016.

A growing patch of ferns adds to the texture and patterns of color that make Big Meadows a visual treat that offers something...

A growing patch of ferns adds to the texture and patterns of color that make Big Meadows a visual treat that offers something different every season, indeed, every day.

The entrance into Shenandoah is coated in a heavy snow.

The entrance into Shenandoah is coated in a heavy snow.

The southern district of Shenandoah tends not to get  as much snow as the higher regions further north.  Here a light snows contrasts...

The southern district of Shenandoah tends not to get as much snow as the higher regions further north. Here a light snows contrasts with the lasting scars of last year's wildfires.

On a wet day, Skyline Drive glistens and the colors of fall dazzle.

On a wet day, Skyline Drive glistens and the colors of fall dazzle.

The fall colors of Shenandoah are almost always more spectacular when there is a bit of fog and rain.

The fall colors of Shenandoah are almost always more spectacular when there is a bit of fog and rain.

Shenandoah has numerous tremendous patches of ferns that in summer exhibit all shades of green but in fall, as the temperatures...

Shenandoah has numerous tremendous patches of ferns that in summer exhibit all shades of green but in fall, as the temperatures first dip into the 30s, turn a radiant gold before going brown.

A black bear feeds near Loft Mountain.

A black bear feeds near Loft Mountain.

Maple leaves color the autumn floor on a stretch of the Whiteoak Canyon trail.

Maple leaves color the autumn floor on a stretch of the Whiteoak Canyon trail.

Fog blows across Little Stony Man Mountain as fall's color reaches peak.

Fog blows across Little Stony Man Mountain as fall's color reaches peak.

A black bear is intrigued by sounds only he can hear from the slopes below.

A black bear is intrigued by sounds only he can hear from the slopes below.

This maple never disappoints, turning a vibrant orange, every fall on an eastern slope north of Thorofare Mountain.

This maple never disappoints, turning a vibrant orange, every fall on an eastern slope north of Thorofare Mountain.

A colorful bouquet of oranges, reds and yellows transform this vista into one of the finest autumn views in Shenandoah, but you...

A colorful bouquet of oranges, reds and yellows transform this vista into one of the finest autumn views in Shenandoah, but you have to hike to get to it. It is not at an overlook.

A large black bear peers down from his tree limb.

A large black bear peers down from his tree limb.

A black bear feeds in a tree immediately above the road just 20 feet above the vehicles the pass, most never even spotting him...

A black bear feeds in a tree immediately above the road just 20 feet above the vehicles the pass, most never even spotting him.

A black bear stares down from the tree where he has been feeding on spring's early growth.

A black bear stares down from the tree where he has been feeding on spring's early growth.

Through a moon roof I manage a quick photo and pray this bear does not fall!

Through a moon roof I manage a quick photo and pray this bear does not fall!

A black, mother of two cubs, feeds near Big Meadows.

A black, mother of two cubs, feeds near Big Meadows.

A black bear looks across the meadow.

A black bear looks across the meadow.

A black bear climbs across a large boulder to give herself a better view of her two cubs.

A black bear climbs across a large boulder to give herself a better view of her two cubs.

Two black bear cubs alternate between foraging and play while mom leads them from the meadow.

Two black bear cubs alternate between foraging and play while mom leads them from the meadow.

A young black bear cub scrambles across a boulder.

A young black bear cub scrambles across a boulder.

A family of three bears climb a hillside near Big Meadows.

A family of three bears climb a hillside near Big Meadows.

A  walk through a wild display of goldenrod in Big Meadows against blue skies, amidst a mild din from the thousands of bees and...

A walk through a wild display of goldenrod in Big Meadows against blue skies, amidst a mild din from the thousands of bees and insects busily collecting nectar and nourishment in the last days of summer.

A does cleans her young fawn in Big Meadows, where deer frequently graze in the early hours of dawn.

A does cleans her young fawn in Big Meadows, where deer frequently graze in the early hours of dawn.

A fawn looks above the late spring grasses.

A fawn looks above the late spring grasses.

A fawn watches her mom intently.

A fawn watches her mom intently.