We continue our celebration of National Wildflower Week by featuring Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge Parkway, by photographer and naturalist J. Anthony Alderman. This guide features over 200 photographs of the different wildlife species found along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It also serves as a tour guide for 75 spots along the Parkway so readers know what to look for no matter what time of year they make their trek.
Alderman, who is active in environmental issues and nature conservation, also includes “The Ten Commandments of Wildflower Conservation,” which adhere to the National Park Service’s regulations for visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here are those commandments that will ensure these flowers will continue to grow and thrive for Parkway visitors to enjoy for years to come:
The Ten Commandments of Wildflower Conservation
1. Thou shalt not pick.
Because they wilt and die quickly when picked, leave the wildflowers for the enjoyment of those who might follow you along the path.
2. Thou shalt not bend or break.
Because of the visual and aromatic beauty they contribute to the mountain landscape, do not harm the wildflowers in any way.
3. Thou shalt not trample.
Because the wildflowers stand proud and tall or lie sweet and delicate on the ground, do not crush them beneath your feet.
4. Thou shalt not dig.
Because the wildflowers are firmly anchored in the soil where they are meant to be, do not remove their roots from the ground or disturb them in any way.
5. Thou shalt not poach.
Because the wildflowers are here for all to enjoy, do nothing to steal that enjoyment away.
6. Thou shalt not let pets run free.
Do not permit your pet to run free among the wildflowers or to relieve itself in areas where people might walk. Keep your pet on leash and under control.
7. Thou shalt not set fires.
Because fires carelessly lit and uncontrolled can be devastating to wildlife, light fires only in places authorized and provided by the National Park Service.
8. Thou shalt not alter the environment.
Because wildflowers are highly selective of the environment in which they grow, do not alter their environment in any way.
9. Thou shalt enjoy and preserve.
Because of your enjoyment of the wildflowers, take advantage of every opportunity to preserve and protect them.
10. Thou shalt educate.
Because of your love and appreciation of wildflowers, do your best to pass those feelings on to others.
Excerpt from Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge Parkway Copyright © 1997 by J. Anthony Alderman.