Dean M. Chriss
Frostbitten Forest, Spring Morning, Tennessee
(Click image to enlarge)
Early in the spring of 2007 we planned a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. When reports said the dogwood and redbud bloom was in full swing, and many wildflowers were starting to come out, it was time to go. Upon our arrival we were told that about three days after a wonderful bloom started a hard freeze occurred. Three consecutive nights with temperatures as low as 14° Fahrenheit colored blossoms and leaves in shades of brown and gold. Trees that had not leafed out yet did so after the freeze, lending some bright spring green to the warm autumn tones. A good occasion to capture the unique forest coloration came immediately after photographing a classic Smoky Mountains sunrise. Most of the morning mist cleared allowing slightly muted light to illuminate the forested valley in front of us, resulting in the image above.