The bright Fall sun washes through the spillway at the Battle Run area of Summersville Lake. When I just a little fellow this was a motocross track and I remember my dad racing in the event at least once. For whatever reason they shut the races down and allowed nature to reclaim the landscape. And what a beautiful job she’s doing. The purpose of the spillway of course was never to have a motocross track but to be a place where the water from the lake can go before it endangers the dam. Here in the middle of a hardwood forest is a Coniferous forest of Virginia pine. The creation of the spillway stripped away the biological soil and left the ground with nothing but bare mineral earth. As a pioneer species the pine able to grow in the poor conditions and rebuild the soil in the process. If the worst would happen and the water would flow into the spillway the trees are able to slow down the flow so that the flood is less damaging. The road going down to the old track is still serviceable and so I decided to ease the big blue truck down to the forest edge. I hadn’t actually been as far as the old track in over 30 years and so not knowing what condition the road is in I only drift at idle speed. This is also a place where people can put up a primitive camp and it’s not uncommon for there to be broken glass and other tire hazards. But that also means that there’s time to watch along side the road for Tortoises, chipmunks and whatever small life might call this home. And sure enough a leaf sprung to life and visited some late blooming daisies. Identified by Google as a Orange Sulphur Butterfly it completely ignored the big blue truck as I drifted forward to get a better look.
At one point she folded her wings tightly and gave me her impression of a sundial. The colors of Fall are yellows, oranges and browns. As I have seen fewer of blue butterflies and and more of the yellows and oranges are browns.
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