Reflection by Jack Barnwell
Drive west on U.S. Route 421 and just before or just after Wilkesboro you see what Jefferson called the “Blue Ridge of Mountains.” Look at them from below in full daylight, and they are green. Climb the 6-to-8 percent grade up to the Parkway, look at the mountains from the ridge tops, and you see them in shades of blue as they recede to the horizon. And floating between those ridges is the characteristic blue vapor that names them. Pine, oak, and poplar, hickory and hemlock, frazier magnolia and mountain ash are pumping out oxygen. At dusk the closest mountains ridges are a green so dark as to be barely distinguishable from black. From ridge to ridge toward the horizon, their colors shade from purple, to dark blue, to a blue growing progressively lighter as the mountains become more indistinct and merge with the light blue sky. Floating between the mountains, too thick to be called a mist, is that wondrous blue fog. And even though it is evanescing with the vanishing light it beckons to be explored.
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