Rock Castle Gorge was one of the first places I explored after becoming a biology teacher at Wytheville Community College in 1975.
A friend at Tech (previously from Auburn) had heard about it as a botanical destination. I drove over from Wythe County passing through “downtown” Floyd early on a Saturday morning. Talk about your sleepy rural village.
A friend and I made a casual mile walk down and back along the severely-washed out trail (in some obvious places) and accumulated a couple of dozen species in bloom or fruit.
Because it was the time we had available, we did our walking between noon and 1:00–especially poor time for photography with the full-sun contrasty lighting from directly above.
I looked for situations, like with this dwarf crested iris, where an overhanging limb cast a shadow behind the object to provide more sexy lighting than was typically available.
I think I only kept four shots from that ramble, but it was not about a bounty of keepers but just to be there in what passes for an “undisturbed” forest with some small indication of the diversity that once existed in these woods.