Just as GLOWUORMS (the Global Worldwide Union of Old Rag Mountain Stewards) was pondering a strike, our shirts arrived and the need for the strike disappeared along with the morning mist. Now the hikers will be able to recognize us even from a distance.
Newts and other little creatures are often on the trail please be careful not to step on them. The newts often come out onto the trail during and after rain storms. Despite their beautiful color they are not as easy to spot as a Mountain Steward. On the other hand if your not seeing one of these guys good luck with the Copperheads and Rattlesnakes which sometimes (fairly rare but it does happen) cross our trails.
Of course the better you get at seeing these things the better you will get at seeing any visually obnoxious gag reflex inducing litter left by those who have not heard about Leave No Trace. We have a lot of newbies on this mountain please get up to speed on outdoor ethics.
Except on our shirts I did not see any Trilliums they have truly passed until 2010. The Pinxter/Mt Azela bloom was in its last waning. The Mt Laurel were in the earliest stages of their 2009 bloom. Speaking of waxing and waning we had around a half moon showing in the late afternoon and evening.
He is very quiet, not much for conversation. My shadow very seldom scares any wildlife away. He seems to only like to join me on fair weather daytime hikes and he is not fond of the noonday sun(he never carries enough water). My shadow has been known to join me on rare bright-moonlit hikes. Even though he appears to be deaf, dumb and blind he is an idiot savant at both playing monkey-see monkey-do and also at practicing perfect Leave No Trace ethics.
Shenandoah Sunset from near CCC Stairs. If your hiking party is seeing a scene similar to this one than each member should have a light and a backup light. That is unless you intend to bivouac over night and hopefully survive to see the sunrise.