Wild Rhododendron in Bloom, Wykoff Run, Pennsylvania Wilds

It was early July 2003, high on the Allegheny Plateau of northern Pennsylvania. A bright, sunny day in the deep woods along Wykoff Run in the Quehanna Wild Area. The Great Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum) are in bloom, and I'm looking for the perfect photograph of these tall, tough, cold-adapted stream bottom dwellers.

After making several photos along the stream of these shrubs with their oblong, leathery, deep green leaves and their large clustered flower heads, I decide to hike a short way up a side draw. I notice a bench that sits just above a lovely stand of rhododendron. Hoping for an interesting angle down onto the top of the shrubs, I walk up an old skid road. Turning into the summer sunlight, there they are: glowing white-pink flower heads, with a mature red oak and hemlock in the background to provide a deep green background.

Photo location: Wykoff Run, Cameron County, Pennsylvania.

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Great Rhododendron, Pennsylvania Wilds

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