Shakerag Hollow

At 6:30am it was already muggy. The thickness of the haze behind this indigo bunting is impressive.

Indigo bunting above Roark's Cove, TN

In the cove forest, the tree canopy is so thick that only a few flowers try to squeeze out their living from the meager light of the understory. Most of the spring wildflowers — Hepatica, Trillium, spring beauty — are dying away or setting seed. Violets and spiderworts buck the trend and are fresh and vital.

Canada violet -- grows ankle-high

Wideleaf spiderwort -- their stems grow two or three feet tall with a thumbnail-sized flower at the top

Several snails traversed the moist forest floor. This shell is of their enemy, the flesh-eating Haplotrema concavum snail. This species tracks down other snails by following their scent, then drags them away to eat.

Haplotrema concavum, the "gray-footed lancetooth." This species has a very wide, open coil on its underside.

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